Moose Dreams

By William Johnson William Johnson
There are times when all the chutzpa I
can muster isn't enough, fug and bluster
all I can do, and damned if it doesn't
just stand there, legs straddling
a berm of washboard dust-ruts
and in late noon sun stare me
blue in the face: lord, we could almost
trade places, my back strained
by the weight of those great bone wings,
my tongue itching for lily root.
And musk, lord, the pheromones,
a day so sweet with elderberry's too rank
fume I could die twice over snuffing.
While the truck mumbles and a trout spanks
the cooler, I almost outdo myself.
But reason, that too-convenient shortcut,
creeps back, if only so far: the rest as we say
is silence, dust and the sputter of flies
and when lumbering to go it pauses
and throws me its last worst look
its sorrow is Christ's, dewlap
jeweled, a beatitude of moss.

Source: Poetry (January 2008).


This poem originally appeared in the January 2008 issue of Poetry magazine

January 2008
 William  Johnson


William Johnson teaches at Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston, Idaho. His collection of poems,Out of the Ruins (Confluence Press, 1999), was named Idaho book of the year, and he was awarded an NEA Fellowship in poetry for 2007.

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Poems by William Johnson

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SUBJECT Nature, Animals

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