We are walking friends,
for one thing; once a week.
Last week
we walked—my first time—
at Martin Nature Center
in northwest Oklahoma City,
its entrance very close to the
Kirkpatrick Turnpike. You wouldn’t
know that
if you were simply set down
on the paths along prairie,
woods
and Spring Creek.

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We are spiritual friends as well, which is why
when we spotted a doe
breakfasting in the woods
we stopped and stayed
and watched
and communed.

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Though we stopped
to avoid scaring her,
other park visitors
kept walking quietly along the path,
smiling,
in recognition of the doe’s presence.
We realized she was not afraid
of humans. We followed the deer’s
attention to a spot across the path
and discovered her fawn,
also busily munching,
casually noticing humans passing.
We stayed,
still,
looking into big dark eyes,
wondering at the beauty of these creatures,
noticing what they ate,
how they seemed to be aware
of each others’ movements
until they had passed us
and moved on through the woods
towards a clearing in the prairie.

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