Snagged in the suburbs

Bolts between raindrops
stag poses in silhouette
snagged in the suburbs

That’s what I saw the other night while walking the dog in between thunder storms. It wasn't just a visual scene. More layered than merely something I saw with my eyes. Beautiful animal pausing on the slight hill in front of Oak Park High.

The new development in our area confuses the deer. Confuses me, too. My head knows that cities grow on land—that my own property might once have had buffalo grazing on it. And yet, I can’t help feeling sad about this change, about concrete replacing wildflowers, about street names replacing birds. A buffalo sculpture welcomes drivers into the new development—a homage to what was. 

The deer that still roam in frightened confusion won’t pause in front of the metal statues of the wild life of the past. They don’t appreciate the irony of iron sculptures. Only we humans can see that the deer of this neighbourhood have been evicted—their land expropriated for us humans. Someday we’ll name a street after them, or maybe build a sculpture. And like the buffalo…we’ll wonder where they all went. To last night’s stag…long may you roam.

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