Ryan Diaz’s poem, St. Hubert and the Deer, offers readers a glimpse at the crucial moment in the life of Saint Hubert–the precipice of the choice between slaughter and mercy. Hubert, after the death of his wife, took to the woods, living the life of an isolated hermit and hunter. As he stalked a deer, he saw that it was an avatar of God, a test. It was then that Hubert gave up his bow and took up the mantle of piousness. Diaz has done a service to us by adding life and realism to this old legend of Christendom.
Saint Hubert and the Deer
St. Hubert spotted a deer in the clearing,
The white of its dappled hide dancing on a
Field of tree-bark brown, its marble eyes
An empty void, unblinking, deeper than
Neptune’s bed. And for a while, Hubert forgot
The bow in his hands and the weight of the
Bowstring. All he could see was the deer
And the crown of antlers perched on its head–
A crown of thorns dripping with blood,
Running down the forehead of an innocent life,
Placed there by the hands of men just doing
Their job, claiming ignorance and innocence
With their arrows nocked and their bows drawn.
Debating the difference between
Sacrifice and slaughter.
Ryan Diaz is a poet and writer from Queens, NY. He holds a BA in History from St. Johns University and is currently completing a MA in Biblical Studies. His work has been featured in publications like Ekstasis, Premier Christianity, Dappled Things, and Busted Halo. His first poetry collection, For Those Wandering Along the Way, was released in 2021. Ryan’s writing attempts to find the divine in the ordinary, the thin place where fantasy and reality meet. He currently lives in Queens, NY with his wife Janiece. Keep up with Ryan’s work at www.avagueidea.com.