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.