The Fog Will Rise Over White-Tailed Deer by Christina Butcher

At some point
During the greying seasons of our lives,
We will all outgrow even the best of our winter coats.

We’ll realize with thin-lipped smiles
That the great, woolen beasts which sheltered us in our youth
Must be folded and pressed away
Into the dusty corners of life’s closet.

Instinctively, we’ll shrug the jackets from our shoulders
And peel our skins down to the newest, blushing layers,
Marveling at the lightness of our bodies as the wind stings our cheeks.

And It won’t matter that we once slid our fingers
Across each slick-topped button in quiet joy,
Nor that our collars once rose with the freckled curves of our necks,
Catching the snow before it slipped into the pitted valleys of our backs.

It’ll only matter that we’ve outgrown them.
That we understand the importance of shedding
These old furs like even older expectations
And failed endeavors.

Let them fall away.

Because these coats already itch against my thawing skin.
And like an old buck grazing in the fields,
I know I must discard the velvet of this season
And ready myself for another spring.

Unfettered and taut,
I will lift my head with the rising fog

And stand to receive the sun.

*Christina Butcher is a linguist by profession and a poet, book reviewer, and general “do-gooder” in her free time. Over the years, Christina has worked on several cultural preservation projects and has developed a passion for storytelling and community involvement. When she’s not traveling the world or writing, Christina haunts local coffee shops and bookstores in Tacoma, where she lives with her husband and a fat, fluffy cat. Christina’s work can be found here (www.writebrave.org).