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.

The Hunt (National Poetry Month Day 18)

The lively woods are lonesome
with the creaking of the trees
as swiftly sifting snowfall
gathers ‘round my bundled knees.

I’m crouching by a maple
sanded silver by the snows,
My hands and eyes ache numbly
as the wind slips through my clothes.
The chipmunks crash and clatter
with a clamor twice their size,
but this is mere distraction
and they do not draw my eyes.

The briars set to riot
now I’m watchful for a kill,
and through the nested nettles
swishing tails and antlers mill-
They herd at half a dozen
and their breath beats at the air
And though it is an easy shot
I leave them grazing there.