Saturday, May 28, 2011

That's What I Read (games)

I read the newspaper at day's break
A young boy
Twelve
Big smile
Toothy … some spaces
Pre-braces
Stuck a ten point buck
With bow and arrow
From fifty feet
Quite a feat
I thought
Fifty feet
Bow and arrow
A young lad’s nerves
Striking a blow
Through a fleet
Deer’s heart
He tracked him for an hour …
The story read

I thought …
Not reading …
Just thinking … pondering … imagining
The buck was strong
Bled for 60 minutes
Running
Stunned
Frantic through woods and thicket
Gasping breaths
Frothing
Finally collapsing
A crash of stunned … exhausted carcass
On coldish grass … next to a cool stream
Between a pine … tall and lean
And a greenish bush
At dusk
Panting …
Tongue straining … to reach
The cool brook … stained in sunset red
Lapping a final taste
Snorting his last
Alone
An arrow in heart, broken
Dead …

I wasn’t reading … just wondering

I cut the picture of the boy and the buck out of the Daily Gazette
I wanted to place it in my Bible
But …
I didn’t know where
I just knew it was significant … in some way …
It must have been exciting
I was thinking … again
For the teen
Like David or Jonathan
I’m sure they hunted
Were skilled
And celebrated
A kill … and feasted
Until they parted …
But … I felt a kindred sadness
For the deer
Bountifully alive … fellowshipping with creation … one minute
Then … suddenly
Struck with fear(ish) pain … the next
Followed by … silence
All in 60 minutes …
I’m sure they …
The teen’s family … said grace
Ate the venison … back strap first … of course … the most tender
And froze or gave away the rest …
He
The buck
Didn’t die in complete vain
He fed them …
The hunters
I didn’t read that
Just pondered
Instead

In my half-buttoned safari jacket pocket
I placed my worn, smooth black leather Bible
We were the first at the veterinarian’s office
My Lassie and I
It was a cool autumn morning … shadows were shrinking though
She was ill … that one kind of ill … a final ill
An aged friend
Panting in my arms
She didn’t weigh as much …
Anymore …
We should have been on the river
But …
I handed my friend to my friend
The doc
He tried to smile … failed … but tried
I followed them to the back
And opened my Bible
Page 857
I had it marked with the picture of the boy and that deer
From the Gazette
I had read when the shadows were longer
I thought about the buck
He did not fear the arrow …
But that he would not make it back … to the brook
One last … time
That’s what I pondered …
And when Lassie lay on the cool
Of the table
In the back
She licked my hand
And
I whispered in her ear … loud enough for both of us to hear
“… You shall not be afraid of the terror by night,
Nor the arrow that flies by day … “
That’s what I read …

5 comments:

Christine said...

Beautifully said. I have a lump in my throat.

Lena said...

I adore this. How fate can dictate the day.

Brian Miller said...

dang. pang in my heart at the end of a friend...you tied these two together really well henry...

Mary said...

Henry, this is a stunning poem. I think this is my favorite of yours that I have read. My heart was in my throat. I am so sad for the deer, your dog, you.

Liz - Old Raven said...

I do believe that you write the most beautiful words that I have ever read.

I'm Just a Man (Recording Experiment ... I can't sing)

I am in the mood to change my tree to a cubic version.