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Yellowstone Elk

When we write, we write about things that we experienced and imagine. I have had the good fortune to come close to several large animals and took pictures.

This is a poem about an elk I saw in Yellowstone several years ago. I was able to get to about 30 feet (10 metres) of him, protected by the trees a bit. He impressed me with his calmness. He seemed totally unaware of me, but I am aware they are wild animals and I am the one out of my element.

Frank O’Hara wrote about common things in his poetry i.e. aspirin, lunch hours, and harmonicas. Sometimes, those things seem more exotic like this elk.

I picture him in my mind’s eye,

I recall the story.

Walking up the road

Down into a high-banked ditch.

Quietly, always trees between us,

I ease my way to this moment.

He appears unconcerned,

He does not lift his crown.

Cautiously, I approach,

After all, he is king here.

Head down,

He attends to his concerns.

I approach as close as I can,

One shot to recall I was there.

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About ivonprefontaine

I completed a PhD at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA. Previously, I taught for 20 years and taught for 15 years in a wonderful hybrid school. My dissertation topic and research were how certain teachers experience becoming who teachers. In teaching and leanring, I am a boundary-crosser who understands moving ahead is a leap of faith. Teaching is a calling and vocation to express who I am as a person. Currently, I am waiting and listening to what calls me next. I am an educator, phenomenologist, scholar, boundary-crosser, published poet, author, parent, grandparent, and spouse.

25 responses »

  1. What a magnificent animal.

    Reply
  2. Beautiful poem. Beautiful picture !!

    Reply
  3. What a great shot of a wonderful animal. Well captured in words too

    Reply
  4. Beautiful! How fortunate you are he let you get so close. The poem is perfect.

    Reply
  5. Absolutely a fantastic read 🙂 we could well be heading down here next week!! Do you know of any good 3-5 night hikes in the park? And get a good chance to see wolves? We have had a few adventures of our own you might enjoy 🙂 check out a few of my reads would love some feedback 🙂

    Reply
    • Your blog is very interesting. I am following it now. I am sorry I cannot help you out with a multiple day hike. We did day trips. I know there are some incredible trips into the back country, so once you are or making your plans, you should be able to find something.

      Reply
  6. Pingback: YELLOWSTONE ELK | huggers.ca

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