Monday, June 29, 2009

793. Mud Trail - Scott Cairns

I'd been walking the mud trail, the mud
leaping out the sides of my boots for hours.
I was thinking I was alone, surrounded
only by the high reach of douglas fir
and cedar. I think it was a change
in the air I noticed first, a warmer,
heavier scent of animal, I was
alone in a small clearing,
then I was not alone and was
surrounded by a hundred elk rising,
or a single elk rising a hundred
times. And the forest was a moving river
of elk, none of them hurrying away, but all
slowly feeling ahead, and beginning
their journey to the east, a hundred times
the same journey.
Miles from there,
they would rest, bed down among
huckleberry and salal, all of them
pulling in their hundred sets of hooves, lowering
a hundred velvetted heads, waiting
for whatever sign of word that calls them
all together to rise again.