Tuesday, July 11, 2017

picture perfect moose

a beautiful moose and her calf

“Moose!  Moose!”
stage whispers my wife,

outside the guest house, browsing on Rocky Mountain maple,
a mother moose and her calf own the neighborhood,

I slip out the back door and around the house
until my telephoto lens and I can busy ourselves
with snapping picture after picture of the two moose,
calmly munching on leaves and connecting with each other,

the mom always knew where I was
and kept an eye on me every time I moved enough
for her to consider and judge me,
I never got too close,
never made any abrupt moves,
and stayed about 50 feet away:
snapping pictures with care, with hope,
with a desperate joy in the moment,

later, she returned to drink out of the pond

and stood there as if to pose,

so I sang to her:
“Morning has broken . . .”
a song I’ve sun to deer in the Smokies,
to a black bear in Yellowstone,
to marmots and pikas in the Beartooth,

she listened to me, 
as if to consider us connected for a couple of wonderful minutes,
though her calf had less patience with me, or interest,
and wandered off before she did,

I feel my singing and demeanor
helped her to judge me as innocuous,
the most any human with a camera can hope for
from animals immersed in their own world.

by Henry H. Walker
July 4, ’17

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