The Shot

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I go back-
To the tent I shared with my father,
my pillow pressed against
wet nylon
so I could keep my head there.
Damp nights in the moon’s light
until my eyes closed
and I felt that breeze;

          To the deer’s long tines
          and view we shared
          with birds who perched
          on twigs of the mighty oak.

My tall rifle
frigid and black,
with scope clean and precise,
with dirt-filled groves in the stock,
and the barrel
could not be avoided
after choosing a target.

As I turn, branches crackle,
my father motions to the right,
with expectations of his
I need no explanation.

At dusk the bullet
exploded but remained invisible.
I knew to follow
the red among brown
I knew our beats would slow to controllable
as its' blood
stopped circulating.
Sitting upon the last stair,
the wind lifting me
back to reality.

My knife
its edge glimmering in the light
a red pool
and later still, after skin,
after the others had run
off to their bed
and the gun
could allow some forgiveness
he turns to me
and tells me that I am the shot.






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