In the small beauty of the forest
The wild deer bedding down—
That they are there!
Effortless, the soft lips
Nuzzle and the alien small teeth
Tear at the grass
The roots of it
Dangle from their mouths
Scattering earth in the strange woods.
They who are there.
Nibbled thru the fields, the leaves that shade them
Hang in the distances
The small nouns
In this in which the wild deer
Startle, and stare out.
“Psalm” by George Oppen, from New Collected Poems, copyright © 1975 by George Oppen. Reprinted by permission of New Directions Publishing Corporation.
Source: New Collected Poems (New Directions Publishing Corporation, 2002)