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Posted on Jun 6, 2013

The Vow | An Excerpt from Wild Life

The Vow | An Excerpt from Wild Life

The first preview from Wild Life: New and Selected Poems by Jamie K. Reaser. Fea­turing a fore­word by Edward E. Clark Jr.,  President of the Wildlife Center of Virginia. Hiraeth Press will be donating $2.00/book to sup­port theWCV’s envi­ron­mental edu­ca­tion and wildlife med­i­cine pro­grams! The release date will be June 28, 2013. Pre-​​order this book now exclusively in our bookstore.




An excerpt from Wild Life by Jamie K. Reaser

Photo: Brown Bear Eating Salmon © Jamie K. Reaser


This that we do with our lives

is a vow,


a promise,


a service if we go at it

humbly enough.


When its golden eyes and gills

become parched in the biting air

and its gaze knows nothing

more than what a hungry

bear can offer of itself,


it is done.


There is nothing more to do.


It is this.


There is no other reason for

any of us to struggle our way

into this world as we do.


All our lives we are called:






We hear.


“This way!”


We call it longing because

we have forgotten

that we speak the usual

language of wild things.


Yet, up river we go.


We must.


We must yield.




This we do with our lives

is a vow,


an agreement made in secret

with something truly holy,


a sacrament.




I’ll tell you how I know:


I watched a sockeye salmon die.


And, for the first time,


I really understood


my life.



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