September 23, 2017
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Moose on the Road to Jackman

By George Chappell

Snow is falling on the way to Jackman, Maine,

high in the mountains, where terrain is stark.

A moose, covered in white, lies in the road,

drawing heat from the friction of tires.

The moose rises as I start to freewheel,

never stepping on brake or gas pedal

— in my wide-track Peugeot station wagon —

and hurtle downhill toward the thousand-pound

antlered beast, noted for standing its ground.

Snow veils the shadow of its looming form.

Deep roadside ditches leave no room to swerve,

and putting on the brakes I’d lose control.

But that wilderness bull has other thoughts:

with a lurch and skip, it dances away.

George Chappell of Camden is a former journalist in Maine now studying creative writing at Goddard College in Vermont.

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