“How the Moose Fell in Snow” by Donald Illich

You said something,
then I said something.
You wanted to talk
about moose, their habitat,
how you hunted them,
what their antlers looked like.
I wished to discuss
eternity, its nature, how
everything might not last
that long, how you and I
had souls, maybe eternal.
You changed the subject
to snack cakes, types
and sweetness, how
they were addictive,
how you dreamed of them,
how they made your wife
upset. I remarked
about death: who is he,
why is he cutting us down,
how can we beat him
and live forever and ever?
I mentioned to you
how the moose fell in snow,
blood on their heads.
How your cakes couldn’t
bribe the Reaper.
You turned around and left.
It was a foul, overcast day.
In conditions like these,
we could choose
to believe in anything.

Donald Illich’s work has been published in The Iowa Review, Nimrod, Cream City Review, and several other journals.