Issue 7 – Swist


Wally Swist

Quintessence

Dawn quiet, late August,
on Market Hill Road, as I am finishing

moving into the Robert Francis cottage
that I will forever refer to as a cabin;

and I see them: spotted doe and fawn
walking the road’s sandy edge;

and they are so nonchalant about
my sighting them and their seeing me

that I could be one of them.
But it was the fawn’s antics that made my

seeing them memorable, with her springing
into the air beside the doe;

the doe observing with approval, the fawn
stepping a few feet, then rising

straight up in the air, front legs tucked,
the back legs fully extended—

becoming all of what it was supposed to be,
and emblematic of itself—

absolute and iconic in that pose;
and indelibly etched in a moment of time,

its energizing spirit cresting through
late summer mist, the chill in the air

emanating more from the naked bounce
of its enthusiasm, portending for me

the grace of the years of living in those
woods; herald who presaged such things

by its vaulting in mid-air with such sheer
delight that it endures as not only an image

within me but also abides as a constant
in the instant of what it inspires—

of what it is to be alive, of embodying
the quintessence of leaping and bounding.