I couldn’t let the heavy tone of the last poem that I posted sit at the top of my blog for too long. It’s too depressing. So here’s another gem from Thomas Lux to lighten things up a bit.
WIFE HITS MOOSE
By Thomas Lux
Sometime around dusk moose lifts
his heavy, primordial jaw, dripping, from pondwater
and, without psychic struggle,
decides the day, for him, is done: time
to go somewhere else. Meanwhile, wife
drives one of those roads that cut straight north,
a highway dividing the forests
not yet fat enough for the paper companies.
This time of year full dark falls
about eight o'clock -- pineforest and blacktop
blend. Moose reaches road, fails
to look both ways, steps
deliberately, ponderously . . . Wife
hits moose, hard,
at slight angle (brakes slammed, car
spinning) and moose rolls over hood, antlers --
as if diamond-tipped -- scratch windshield, car
damaged: rib of moose imprint
on fender, hoof shatters headlight.
Annoyed moose lands on feet and walks away.
Wife is shaken, unhurt, amazed.
-- Does moose believe in a Supreme Intelligence?
Speaker does not know.
-- Does wife believe in a Supreme Intelligence?
Speaker assumes as much: spiritual intimacies
being between the spirit and the human.
Does speaker believe in a Supreme Intelligence?
Yes. Thank You.
Do I really need to say anything at all?
The simple story-telling narrative is funny enough, but when Lux adds the last stanza, he takes this poem to a whole new level. “Does the moose believe in a Supreme Intelligence?” Ha! As far as the story goes, the moose is simply “annoyed” so I doubt he “thinks” about too much at all. And I just love that Lux chose to have his wife hit a moose rather than a deer or a dog or something more “swift”; moose are generally portrayed as slower, less intelligent then other wildlife, so to hit one generally means you’re a bad driver. So he’s saying in a less-than-subtle way that his wife is a bad driver. Does it make me a bad person that I picture my wife every single time that I read this?