The Big-Game Room - Poem by Frank Bana
A proud and upright huntress
Seated in her big-game room
Surrounded by hectares of dead stuffed flesh
Wearing a later-life rictus smile
She has opted for anonymity
Due to "threats from animal activists"
And as for me
I never thought such a room to exist
So now she can count me among them
Antlers, antlers rise everywhere
And hordes of tiny wild cats
Snarling, fleeing, seated stilled
Arranged together in curlicues
On rugs of other animals' skins
And up beside the Texas brick
Two brown bears rise majestic
A Mexican jaguar, but even these
Are not the proudest centrepiece
Would you believe, she flew to the Arctic
To bag an off-white polar bear
Who balances with just one paw
On some sort of iceberg fakery
Metal cowboy statues on the mantle
Possum posed alertly at her feet
A turkey rampant in the corner
A turkey! Incongruous within
This death-montage of incongruity.
She says, in drawl to the magazine
There are people who hunt, I have always said
And people who don't, who usually hate it.
Well, not quite so. It's the huntress herself
And not the "it" we're inclined to hate:
The complacent huntress. The state of mind
That supposes the slaughter of creatures for game
Finds justification in gross display.
(New York Times Magazine spread,27 May 2012)
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