Two Poems

Bull Elk, Midwinter

            after Nikolay Gumilyov

Why so low today? Your hollow cheeks, labored smile . . .
even worse, it seems, than last night.
Listen . . . high, high up in the mountains of Montana
a majestic elk parades the slopes.

Huge and agile, he tosses a rack like two small oaks, antlers
no mountain lion would ever chance. Floating
above a cliff, decoding
the wind, he’s muscle and nerve at the ready.
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