Today's poem is by Amy Fleury

Elk Skeleton

Down the draw at dusk seven mule deer come
to browse the blanched grasses around the cabin.
Not all has been winter-killed this early April
as these timid sisters nudge the bitter tufts.
            Rose-gold floods their flanks.
                                Soon all shadows leach away.

Come morning, frost ferns the windowpanes
and my breath disrupts moth-dust on the sill.
The branches of fog-haunted firs appear
to have been assembled from brackish ash.
            Lichen brocades the stones hove
                                from this forest's decay.

At the trailhead, I find an elk skeleton,
its wind-strummed ribs like the empty staves
of a stranded, sunlit ship in the scree.
Gone the ruminant heart, the once pink
            and capacious lungs. On its spine
                                a moth opens its delicate hinge.

Copyright © 2013 Amy Fleury All rights reserved
from Sympathetic Magic
Southern Illinois University Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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