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"I had witnessed the transmigration of a soul"

Published onNov 01, 2023

Photo by llya:

The day after my Aunt Ro died
a doe approached within a few feet
as if confused about where she was
and what she should be doing.
I could neither comfort nor instruct her.
I let her be not considering until later maybe
I had witnessed the transmigration of a soul.
But in the end I applied Ockham’s razor—

you rarely see what you believe.
A mile further along my morning stroll
I was greeted cheerfully by a flock
of cedar waxwings I always consider it a blessing
to encounter. Such social, amiable beings
I hope Aunt Ro will join, so sure are they
of who they are—

Robert Ronnow's most recent poetry collections are New & Selected Poems: 1975-2005 (Barnwood Press, 2007) and Communicating the Bird (Broken Publications, 2012). Visit his web site at

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