The Call of the Wild

geese in flight

The call of the wild came at tender age,

at the knee of his papa, who heard it well;

the cries of the geese over rolling sage,

the echoes of songbirds in dale and dell.

It followed the whispers of aspen’s songs,

rumbled in dens where new cubs were weaned;

sang from the meadows, midst grazing fawns,

rattled where antlered heads splashed in the streams.

It stirred in his soul, and called him outdoors,

called him to join in creation’s hum;

he put on his vest, and joined with the corps

who swore to protect what God had begun.

Now, at the very last call of the day,

its music sounds foreign to grieving ears;

but true to its trumpet, his heart must obey

the call of the wild, as we shower him with tears.


In memory of Justin Knackstedt, 23, who died in a tragic accident while on duty as a Conservation Officer, the job he so loved.

14 comments on “The Call of the Wild

  1. russtowne says:

    A beautiful tribute, Melody. My daughter works for the state forest service so this one holds special meaning for me.


  2. Eric says:

    That was a wonderful tribute, dear. Written as only you can write such a masterpiece. When I am gone, please write me such a poem to be read as they scatter my ashes on a remote stream in such a wild. 🙂

  3. Anonymous says:

    It is a beautiful tribute Melody. Similar to Mary Oliver and Wendell Berry, you did a beautiful job including wild geese as part of the tribute and journey.

  4. Caddo-Jael says:

    What a lovely memorial, Melody. I continue to think of Justin’s family and friends, and offer up another prayer. Off topic, I have a short geese poem ready–any chance I could borrow this photo (proper credit, etc)?? It’s perfect, and the ones I found were either too dark–or just kinda blah. God bless you BIG–love, sis Caddo

  5. ALWAYS humbled ~ LOVE your gift of depth!

  6. Gallivanta says:

    Precious memories and a lovely farewell.

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