THE HUNTER

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SILENTLY, HE SLIPS THROUGH THE FOREST;

INTENT ON NOT MAKING THE SLIGHTEST SOUND.

GAZING KEENLY INTO THE SHADOWY BRUSH;

WATCHING FOR FRESH TRACKS, ON THE GROUND.

 

HIS RIFLE IS SLUNG TO HIS SHOULDER;

HARD POINT BULLETS FILLING THE BREECH.

A SHEATHED AND SHARPENED HUNTING KNIFE,

HANGING AT HIS SIDE, WITHIN EASY REACH.

 

ALL HIS SENSES SHARPLY AWARE,

EYES ACUTE AND HIS HEARING INTENSIFIED.

HIS SKILLS MATCHING THE WILD ANIMALS,

THE SMALLEST NOISES AND MOVEMENTS SPIED.

 

HE CAREFULLY WORKS HIS WAY ALONG A RIDGE,

A BREAKING TWIG CAN LOSE HIM HIS MEAT.

KNOWING HIS REWARD DEPENDS ON HIS PATIENCE,

PAUSING TO LOOK AND LISTEN, EVERY FEW FEET.

 

A FLASH OF BROWN HE SEES AHEAD,

FLITTING BETWEEN THE BUSH AND TREES.

A SIX-POINT BUCK SUDDENLY EMERGES,

TOTALLY ALERT, AND READY TO FLEE.

 

THE HUNTER SLOWLY RAISES HIS RIFLE,

DETERMINEDLY SIGHTING IN ON HIS PREY.

A LOUD THUNDERCLAP RIPS THE SILENCE,

HE MISSES, AND THE DEER RUNS AWAY.

                  (OR)

(PERSEVERANCE HAS MADE A SUCCESSFUL DAY.)

 

1995   BY WAYNE J. WAGAR

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