The Hart

By Kelly Gray

October 19, 2020

The Hart

He steps out of the grass like a god. Thick necked to hold up east-to-west spanning antlers which in turn hold up the entire sky, three clouds and a Northern Harrier. I am caught off guard by his emergence, how he comes from nothing into everything. His softest places glow with the low cut of winter light; slow blinking eyes, the velvet of his antlers, his wet nose. He invites me to follow him down the trail, which I do. We walk slowly, stepping carefully through the grass, deeply aware of our shared breath. We are prey, not predator. The sun begins that low drop into the sea, breaking apart into pink and gold, catching in my eyes. Between the cliffs and the horizon is whale blow, one after another, a family. In this moment I feel this deep sense of kinship, although I know it is fleeting. I want to lie down in the grass and fold this connection around me, tie it into the laces of my boots and wear it like the old faux fur coat of my late teens. Did you have a coat like that? One that you could wear like a home? I miss that heavy coat anchoring me while I wandered fields in the dark, wrapped up like I belonged to the land.


Kelly Gray (she/her) lives exactly nine miles and seven fence posts away from the ocean beneath the tallest, quietest trees in the world. You can read more of her work at


Photo provided courtesy of the author.

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