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Soothsayer’s Familiar (after Tarot’s ‘Mother of Pentacles’)

The doe nestles with her spotted fawn,
her wise eyes stare out from the card,
confident and composed, like a
soothsayer’s familiar. More than
tinctures and herbs, her knowing
is everything earthly, grounded
in Nature and the seasons.

Tall grasses and cattails cloak her,
bedded down while her little one
rests up. Ears ever on alert, wide like
a robin’s wings to suss out any danger
and its distance. Nearby, patient oaks,
trustworthy maples, a river crossing
with nowhere else to go.

The North Star shines high overhead,
a steadfast beacon, visceral and sure
as her intuition. She will protect
her young, the needy, the incapable,
drink from the river that flows
within reach. She watches me watch her
but makes no move. If she somehow
speaks inside my head, I fail to hear,
my mind thick and dank as a grizzly den.
Her gaze soothes like this witching hour’s
stealthy breeze and yet, unsettling
to leave me so aware.

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