Clint and Buck

By on Aug 28, 2012 in Poetry


A deer and Clint Eastwood



I met Clint Eastwood in the hills today,
that familiar grin, slouch, that laconic stance.
Faithful to the etiquette of the trail, he rolled out
a howdy, I repeated him, reversed passage
to see if the star had truly passed me by. Was the man
long-limbed enough, spare enough? Does Clint
put on khaki shorts like those, that bland kind
of tee, does he live nearby, like to hike,
to see bees swarm & butterflies on the lam?
The thought bore with me, echoed
in the silence of my solo trek to the height
of the ridge, the silence of my break, the slog
back to an empty fridge, darkened house.


I met a deer on my hike today, a buck, stubby
antlers scraping by on a smattering of velvet.
I stilled, withheld my pulsing heart, breath.
The creature did not seem to touch the ground,
but rode the air like a hawk or a sprite.
A slight gasp, or perhaps the faded flame
of my old red shorts, and he startled, crashed
down a gully, dashed up a ravine, withdrew.
He knew the route, was unafraid of it, refused
to please me by pulling in his wings.
Refused to stay. The thought pursued me
while I trudged on, my solitary ramble
caught in the brambles of his flight.



Ruth Gooley has published many poems and has also been nominated for the Best of The Web. She published her dissertation, “The Image of the Kiss in French Renaissance Poetry,” and currently teaches French at UCLA Extension. She loves hiking and camping and all things wild.