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At dawn
swooping, dipping, diving
the laughing call
of the belted kingfisher.
After breakfast 
walking briskly through an old growth forest 
with a friend,
unseen for eight or nine years, 
discussing children, 
the scarlet tanager’s song, 
the yet unripe blackberries and 
our plans for the day.
With one hundred and twenty five children
I tell stories of a little snake, a hunter maiden, 
a deer dance and an ogre 
we laugh and they shriek, 
we sing a song to beckon the deer, 
play tag and practice stalking skills. 
This bliss is my livelihood.
Alone, I swim across the lake, 
soak in the cool pool and sun’s warmth, 
as high overhead a vulture swirls 
in the figure eight of infinity, 
	my friend.
Fishing the perimeter of the lake
I catch five or six sunfish, 
a northern brown water snake crawls over my bare feet, 
the deer, beckoned earlier, 
walks down the shoreline 
to within a few meters, 
snorts, stomps her feet, 
challenges my presence 
and then bounds away.
I stand my ground,
then continue rambling 
the circumference of the pond.
A water snake catches a large fish, 
		swallows it whole, 
a little green heron catches a little fish, 
		which swims down her throat, 
and I head to dinner
The evening campfire 
my moment 
to teach two hundred girls to dance like deer, 
dream of being raised by wolves, and 
to find the strength inherent in their tribal village. 
Two hundred voices howl a love song for this wild life!
this is the day, 
the day I have woven 
from dreams made real, melodious tales, a small miracle 
and a child’s game.
This day was made a gift 
to all the girls at camp 
a gift I relish 
from the deer, the snake, the wolf, the kingfishers 
and the innumerable bats 
	circling the crescent moon 
				the tree line.