The Kill


This is where it happened, in the knee-deep snow
blanketing the frozen Kawishiwi River. I'm standing
two steps from the freshly-stripped skeleton

of a moose that was killed and eaten by wolves.
Tangle of bones on a patch of blood-stained snow.
The centerpiece of the wolves' feast so incongruous

in this Arcadian landscape that it doesn't look real
at first. The wolves have ripped the carcass apart.
Spine's severed behind the rib cage. Legs disarticulated.

Smooth ball atop a femur gleams in the afternoon sun.
In the Church of Snow, we speak in whispers, circle
the denuded bones taking photos. I'm compelled

to not turn away, to examine the bones, to absorb
their lesson. Eventually, we leave the skeleton,
trudge back to our dogs and sleds. Sun's setting.

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