Elk Rut

Flesh and blood and muscle
all conjoined, breathe with the woods
around it. As if the herd drifts
like water, in
and out of the sugar maples and buckeyes,
crimson with the blood of October.

Bugling bulls model coveted crowns,
strut regally amid the Blue Ridge,
swollen.  Where bony prongs,
now stained, reveal
only chalky tips, and the woody structures fall
like leaves from a tree.

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