Inspired a poem of Todd’s in Poetry Magazine, “The Hush of the Very Good,” in 2017, Connie became Todd’s very first private commission. The project ended with an extraordinary encounter in the snow-filled forests of northern Wisconsin.
In this special holiday episode of TAPIT, Todd reaches back out to Connie after all these years, to revisit the magic they made together.
It seems to me to be again as if
our twenty years were no more than a dream—
This morning, driving in the steam of dawn
in an autumn woods, I happened upon
a yearling deer that was, unlike her tawny
sisters, a brilliant white. All white and white
and white she was, a great astonishment
her body a flag, a flame of snow
in the bower, she was a glow, a ghost
in the mist around her. And oh, my dear, how
I wished you were there!
She trembled so
to see me slow to the gravel and halt. I had to
wait her out, so filled with praise was I, my
heart. What grace, what art, what eloquence
she bore! Though no less and no more a deer
than any deer in the forest, still it seemed these
trees were holier for her being there, in the
recitative of a leafing breeze.
eternity with her, but I was not her owner,
and soon—with a jolt—like a joyful spirit she
bolted over, joining the plainer flock that
waited invisibly on the other side—like a bride—
and with her into the ether danced my pride
in having even briefly known her.
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