The Knowing Animals

In a wood stirring with elk blood and rorid air,

the invisibles were all ears: all lays and hoofprints.


I heard one miles deep —

a bugle from a womb of black spruce.


I remembered my own dark language,


hedged by hemlock and fir, guarded by forked roads,

diverging arrows. An unearthing requires more than a compass.


So what now of those fragrant rooms, empty and aseptic, 

trimmed with brainwashed flowers?


Shh, listen — a rustling of the watchful,

who wade unbridled through brushland.


A fracas of ravens in the treetops: I thought of you

and your crow’s feet, your hulking, hooded eyes.


The day you were pulled from unbounded space,

trees toppled and the needle pointed North.

Emily Skov-Nielsen is a recent graduate from the University of New Brunswick in Saint John (Honours BA). Her work has been previously published in The Antigonish Review. She currently lives and teaches adult education in Saint John.