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First Shot

I said I was hunting deer. I knew the trails, the split tracks and pellets of shit; circles
where they bedded down together. I faced a buck once, for almost ten minutes I think;
I moved first and it left me. I ran home to think.

I had a bow, target arrows, a target on straw. My father said be careful, and I was, but
I sneaked my bow and arrow to the woods. I surprised a tiny rabbit near a hole. It
froze. I had an arrow on it. I moved and it ran for the hole. I never shot.

They had a blanket, in a clearing of wiry grass that sloped to the north. He had her
down, her hands all over his back. I thought I knew her. They hadn't seen me. I notched
an arrow. His head turned my way, vague, like he needed his glasses, and maybe afraid.
I got scared, I wasn't sure what it was; I shot my arrow, my first shot, wild I think, and ran.

I waited for something for weeks, for more than weeks. I couldn't answer questions. I
thought I saw her a few times, later. I never went back until I was sixteen, almost, and
nothing was there but I only stayed for a minute.

Submitted: Tuesday, March 27, 2012


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