Tag Archives: Hunting



When Cheney pulls the trigger
it’s likely as not
that a partner not a bird gets shot

In Afghanistan allies tremble to a man
so much power – so little plan

Killing Canadians from Strathcona
and Cardinals from Arizona

And how many Iraqis now have died
who might really have been on our side



When Wayne was thirteen
he had the finest blondest hair
the finest features and the finest mind
of all the cousins round

A city boy and cooler about everything than all of us
until we took him hunting

When his first shot hit the rabbit
he ran and cried and held it till it died

At eighteen he quit school with A grades
a month before grad to get a jump on a job
met a girl and bragged of achievement on first date

Over achievement it turned out to be
quick marriage, quick, two children three

Army for security, liquor for the pain
it was twenty years before I saw him again

He was in a downstairs bar
sitting there as coarse and thick as adobe brick

I wanted to roll it all back
reach in for the lost fineness and yank it all inside out

And hold him like the rabbit when he cried
still innocent when it died



A tough shot, 600 yards at least, running left to right
in the open sights of the 303. Aim to the top of the
third jump ahead, move the gun in a smooth arc
and squeeze slow

It was a kill
I saw it as great skill
a source of blood fed pride
and the deer… well it just died

The Indians used to see it as a kind of revolving door
the spirit of the animal would come back soon
enough in another body if you used the one
he had given up to you with gratitude

There are not many deer in these parts anymore

I wonder if they are trapped

waiting for the gratitude

Indians lost in whiskey

and we never knew



When I was seven
gopher tails were three cents

The county had a bounty to arrest the little pest
not exactly a price on their heads
but you get the picture

So we hauled buckets of water
to drown them out
learned from the bigger boys
how to tie a noose in binder twine
placed it around the hole
and waited

Curiosity, which has been known to kill cats
is not very good for gophers either

Once caught
they were run in mad races
spun to centrifugal asphyxiation
or finished off in other cruel ways
before yielding us our hard earned bounty

In the spring we watched their return
to the snow speckled pasture
running tumbling wrestling
making love

And the wonderful babies
when they first ventured out
to try sunshine grass and shaky legs

It amazes me now
that as boys

We could take such joy
in their playful

And in their deaths