on the manners of whitetail deer

the buck is not a gentleman,
when he pauses by the thicket’s edge and
spots the orange-clad foe at dawn,
he stops, and waits,
for doe and fawn
to blunder forward,
to chance the shot
and plunder lead meant for him.
the buck is not a gentleman
but he lives another day.

field dress

some sounds stay with you,
like the first mention of love,
and unfortunately,
this is one of them –
this sonata of butchery,
the first cut from neck-to-tail,
the hiss of warm innards
round or long or lumpy
spilling onto the snow, steaming,
and the scrape of a buck-knife,
along the hollow of a carcass, the
scratch in the ribcage,
the pooling of blood
and evil odor
where a heart was racing and
a stomach was churning,
only moments ago.
some sounds stay with you,
like the first mention of love,
and some are left behind,
staining the snow.


They’re useful in a fight, for sure,
but how they ache after too much use, and
the migraines are a real drawback.

The best part of the year is the day
when the moon is high and sharp like an eye
and the blood starts to pulse and throb through your head,
because blood always keeps time,
Then you’re at the great big oak with the rough bark,
not really sure how you got there, scratching away,
Until the brown peels off, and the white breaks even
and the weight falls away to the floor-
How lovely to discard a weapon,
and how lovely to shape another.