Elk Child

A procession of elk wearing dyed indigo coats.

I blink… once… twice… they do not disappear
but keep shuffling old bones and grumbling
about moving from one place to another

from summer to winter pastures

each print is its own ellipsis filling in
with indigo waters creating every contrapuntal lake.

The need child is born and I do not know her meaning.

She is given the antlers and she sucks out the blood.
Yes, she crunches, and crunches, and crunches
and… this is long long ago… she grows…

The ghost child wields a sabre of light
not quite for killing but not
quite for saving lives.

They scramble towards it…

The impeccable laughter of children…

In the woodlands is a glockenspiel tacked down,
windchimes that respond to inspiration.

Her head is light and rolls from side-to-side
not yet weighed down by the barrels
of blood and oil and voices…

the heavy weights of left and right.

She will not be like the white elk
who wanders old and blind and staggering,
narrow-withered, not ridden, not tamed, but driven to exhaustion.

She will come with an antler in each hand balanced
on her mother’s back to bring a new-old song

from where the elk-dead walk…

2 thoughts on “Elk Child

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