from The Simple Men

The Bull Moose


Earliest faint of dawn, lip-slip
silence of river
and like a fish opened
the sky bleeds and feathers
as three moose feed
in the slackwater by the islands,
dark silhouettes
among the bales of mist.


Three hours later and the day
is tiled in sun, gleaming heat.
The bull moose has followed a feeder stream uphill
and my father goes to find it.
I too set out,
after a strange moment's peace,
to seek
in those tunnels of green.


Arms raked by pines and the stream
lost among skirts of moss
I relent, nothing found
and nothing to find,
in a sun-fluted jar of day, shadow-pocked
ark of soul through which
silently the great shapes tumble.


Where to?