John Kooistra

Three Moose at Dawn

A cow moose comes
around the corner
through the snow.
Yearling twins
trail along in single file.

She’s HUGE
and I stand at the door
watching this locomotive
of an animal

the same as I would
a freight train
at a railroad crossing,
lights flashing
and the warning gate down.

This is a long moose I think
and shut off
the motor of my day
while the three of them
move without hurry
down their own tracks
and grow smaller.

When the lights that aren’t there
stop flashing and the gate rises,
I remember where I am
and restart the day

but I’m clumsy
getting things back into gear,
the same as I’d be if the three camels
of the wise men had just passed by
following a star.

Portrait of John Kooistra
John Kooistra
John Kooistra is a poet and essayist who has lived in Alaska since 1973 and Fairbanks since 1981. He has taught philosophy at the University of Alaska, Purdue University, the College of Wooster. He fished commercially in Cook Inlet for thirty years, and worked at various times as a tradesman. He's traveled a lot by thumb, car, motorcycle and bicycle over the past 50 years, activities that have resulted in a lot of travel and journal writing. His poems are grounded in the world, in season and place and go on from there to consider the timeless human nature we share. A book of travel recollections and ruminations is presently ready for publication.

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Last updated: March 29, 2017

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