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lunes, marzo 30, 2009

Picking Blueberries In Austerlitz

How interesting. A Mary Oliver poem about the town where I live:
Picking Blueberries, Austerlitz, New York -1957

Once, in summer
in the blueberries,
I fell asleep, and woke
when a deer stumbled against me.

I guess
she was so busy with her own happiness
she had grown careless
and was just wandering along

to the wind as she leaned down
to lip up the sweetness.
So, there we were

with nothing between us
but a few leaves, and wind’s
glossy voice
shouting instructions.

The deer
backed away finally
and flung up her white tail
and went floating off toward the trees -

but the moment she did that
was so wide and so deep
it has lasted to this day;
I have only to think of her -

the flower of her amazement
and the stalled breath of her curiosity,
and even the damp touch of her solicitude
before she took flight -

to be absent again from this world
and alive, again, in another
for thirty years
sleepy and amazed,

rising out of the rough weeds
listening and looking.
Beautiful girl,
where are you?
And now, 52 years later, there is a gigantic herd of deer in the Town of Austerlitz, Columbia County, New York. It has grown enormously since the dairy farm dispersal of the early '80's, which freed up huge grazing areas, and with the slow but steady decrease in the number of fall hunters. And that's where she and her descendants are, grazing in my fields in Spencertown.

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