Twenty Does


My back aches from sitting so still

on a cold chair, hidden

on a hay wagon , inside

a makeshift hut.

Time to think, time

to squirm, rub my hands

together. Time to

wait for the majestic buck I have seen

on a camera, at midnight. Six tall points, rise

to the sky like pinnacles. An enviable prize, yet

perhaps I will not pull the trigger should he come by.

He will not show in daylight, so why worry? Why stress

over an event that will not occur?



Evening comes gently, a shadow slowly creeping through

stands of trees. Shapes appear at the edge

of a far field. Four, then suddenly a few more, in groups, scattered yet

together. A herd, and the darkness grows and I cannot distinguish

except for size. Yearlings still play around mother’s feet. A large doe

leads the way, closer, slow and closer, the deer browse.   I watch,

suspended and tense, and make no sound, and disguise any movement.  I swing

a scoped barrel from doe to doe.   I count twenty gentle creatures

without horns, who munch serenely on alfalfa.  Spread out on the pasture

before me as if attending a party, talking in groups, enjoying the buffet.

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