Focus, not the kill. The unwavering tenacity
of trees in forest. The smell of bark and dying
leaves, everything a tincture of everything else.
Planning, preparing, patience. The blind
cold, the body chattering, ravens calling out
your position to anything that will listen.
Ten-point buck moves into view beneath.
You take the breath, arrest every hope
that has sacrificed itself for you to be here.
The snowcrush, perfect. The deliberate
wariness, perfect. The arrival of destinies
laced in curtains that may or may never fall.
This is what this has brought you to. You
suddenly understand why a natural mirror
is a still pond you must gaze down into.
To take the shot now would be—incidental
Gypsies always leave one coin in the drum for
good luck, whenever it is deemed affordable.
So you let the buck walk, light a cigarette, let
a loud sigh followed by a laugh no one will ever
hear but you and the deer that refuses to spook.
Shoot the sky and the animal scatters. The report
echoes through the still trunks. Swift tracks lead
a timely misdirection you decide is worth following.