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.