Poems by Richard Mack

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Trophy Sorrow

by Richard Mack

From Canary Fall 2012

Richard lives in the Grande Ronde River watershed of Eastern Oregon near the Eagle Cap Wilderness Area.

Head back, bugling, he becomes the cosmos.
Antlers that hold the sizzle of lightning
and the cloud of his breath, thunder.
I heard his call for many days
and once in the clear November night
his voice entered my bones.
I see him now in the forest
twenty yards away, but connected
like the strings of the universe
like the thread of coyote call
across the clear desert night
weaving the fabric of species.
And then
waiting for the light to change
I hear the truck engine whine
and in the back, the antlers.
Trophies, they call them,
but antlers are not the elk.
The elk has fled across the sky
head back, bugling, trailing lightning
the voice still echoing on the mountain
and the thunder remembers

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