Chimney Rock Trail, Point Reyes

Knee deep in wild iris, I look up,
Startling a dozen black tail deer:

How they stand at attention
In their cinnamon tuxedos,
Staring straight at me, ears cocked,
Nostrils twitching,
A perfectly rapt audience.

Above us, clouds scuff the darkening sky,
Like the lofty ceiling of La Scala.
I stand before them, still,
A conductor before an orchestra,
Without a baton.