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The Execution of the Moose

by William F Dougherty

The walnut antlers swept behind his head,
a crown without dominion to defy
the brain disease that sapped his sense, misled
his sloping bulk from colder, broader sky
and slowly gnawed him numb and nearly blind:
a trotting quarry yapping dogs could chase
in neighbor woods and marsh so undefined
he sniffed no wind of green, unhounded space.

The warden fixed his aim, let crack a flash—
the moose’s crown of antlers plunged like stone,
as knees unlocked, and with a liberating crash
he crumpled in a heap of hide on bone,
and inward plunged, released in spacious sheen
of stately antlered forests, ever green.


Posted on 08/07/2012
Copyright © 2021 William F Dougherty

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Linda Fuller on 04/02/19 at 11:22 PM

I googled William Dougherty, with the thought of letting him know his poem was POTD; sadly, I fear I found his obituary. A fine poet.

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