Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry: Spooked Moose

Edited and introduced by Wesley McNair, Maine Poet Laureate

In case you didn?t manage a moose sighting this season, here?s a poem on that subject by Dougles Woodsum of Smithfield. Doug writes that the poem is based on an incident told him by a friend. The poem?s skillful blend of comedy and drama, however, are all his.

Spooked Moose by Douglas Woody Woodsum

Like a real bull in a bullfight, the full-grown moose
Lowered his head and ripped through my neighbor?s laundry, pinned
To the line from the house corner to the apple tree.
And like a bride with a twenty-foot train, it dragged the line
And the clothes across my neighbor?s lawn, leaving a wake
Of clothespins, jeans, tee shirts, and boxer shorts every few yards.
Then, like a moose in a panic because it has rope
And clothing tangled about its horns and more rope and clothes flapping
About its torso and rear legs, very like such a moose,
It lowered its head again and charged through the old barbed wire
Pasture fence, snapping the rotten fenceposts off at ground level,
Dragging and, finally, snapping, the rusty wires of a forgotten farm.
And then like a fearful beast learning fear for the first time,
It picked up speed as a bedsheet flopped onto its face
and three or four dragging fenceposts barked its rear ankles and shins.
It tripped and fell breaking through the fence again on the far
Side of the field, but struggled up once more to crash
Into the undergrowth and disappear amid the trees.
Lastly, like stunned townspeople in the wake of a twister,
My neighbor and I picked up the strewn pieces of clothing
As we followed tracks, like post-holes, into the dented woods.

Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Poem copyright © 2007 by Douglas Woodsum. Reprinted from Down East, Down East Enterprise, Inc., 2007, by permission of Douglas Woodsum. Questions about submitting to Take Heart may be directed to David Turner, Special Assistant to the Maine Poet Laureate, at poetlaureate@mainewriters.org or 207-228-8263.