This selection, chosen by Managing Editor Krista Cox, is from Ghost Moose by Margo Taft Stever, released by Kattywompus Press in 2019.
Searching for moose, the children
run down to the river, calling
the already-gone, the forgotten,
for freedom of stench,
the smell of skunk weeds.
Moose calves become ghosts,
rubbing fur, skin, scraping ticks
off on tree bark.
In mild winters, ticks multiply
and multiply, occupy moose calves,
killing them slowly; their mothers
witness starvation from blood loss.
Moose calves resemble ghosts,
tearing fur, skin.
Calves waste away. Wasted
bodies frighten the forest
floor—foresters call April
the month of death.
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