The CrossingThe elk of Orick wait patiently to cross the road
and my husband of six months, who thinks
he's St. Francis, climbs out of the car to assist.
Ghost of St. Francis, his t-shirt flapping, steps
tenderly onto the tarmack and they begin
their trek, heads lifted, nostrils flared, each footfall
a testament to stalled momentum, gracefully
hesitant, as a brace of semis, lined up, humming,
adjust the air in their brakes. They cross
the fourlane like a coronation, slow as a Greek
freize, river wind riffling the wheat grass
of their rumps. But my husband stays on,
to talk to the one who won't budge, oblivious
to her sisters, a long stalk of fennel gyrating
between her teeth. Go on, he beseeches,
Get going, but the lone Elk only stares back,
their noses less than a yard apart. One
stubborn creature staring down another.
This is how I know the marriage will last.
by Dorianne Laux
(click here to hear the poet read her poem)
with thanks to Except In Dreams
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