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Deer Hunt

Deer Hunt

1 min 13.3K 1 min 13.3K

Because the warden is my cousin, my

mountain friends hunt in summer, when the deer

cherish each rattler-ridden spring, and I

have waited hours by a pool in fear

that manhood would require I shoot, or that

the steady drip of the hill would dull my ear

to a snake whispering near the log I sat

upon, and listened to the yelping cheer

of dogs and men resounding ridge to ridge.


I flinched at every lonely rifle crack,

my knuckles whitening where I gripped the edge

of age and clung, like retching, sinking back

then gripping once again the monstrous gun,

since I, to be a man, had taken one.


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