“To Inherit The Earth” by Brandon Fick

The deer are moving again, sojourners of snow,

shovel-faced bambis that shit brown M&M’s

in the yard without regard. The nerve

of these white-tailed vagabonds. The nerve

of these dashers and dancers that couldn’t pull a fat child

let alone a fat man. Don’t they know we are dying

and bats (maybe) laugh in their warm caves? Bats, yes,

where is Batman these days? This sick world deserves

an unreal hero. Alas, all I see when I peer out 

my hermitage into black cold are scrawny bucks

nibbling juniper, hopped-up on hinds like the goat

from The Witch to doff babushka-like tarps.

Do they know about Lisa LaFlamme’s latest lament,

headlines – “Another surge in ICUs,”

“Cases soar dramatically” – that invade my mind?

            No,

course not, to deer all that matters is survival.

Who knows how many are hunted, hit,

starved and diseased.

What I mean to say is that humans

have no monopoly on suffering

and deer eat, sleep, shit because they must.

Just last night, in wee hours wasted watching YouTube

(vortex of faces, loosely-linked

reactions to films I once saw in theatres

when it wasn’t open season on lungs),

scratching, pawing beneath the picture window,

enemies of no malice

eking out existence like children behind a dumpster.

Spooked by light and human garble they fled

silent, spindly-legged

down the street one by one in an unbroken line,

lost figures from an old canvas

moving nowhere but forward

to inherit the Earth.

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