Field Hunter’ Lament - Poem by Sean Woods
Pheasant flying from the sage.
My mind was wandering when I shot.
I think I apologized to you
when the dog carried
your flaming, iridescent body
to my hand.
I felt your feathered warmth.
The same warmth the coyote was
feeling when I jumped her
sunning in a sheltered bed of weeds.
My dog barely acknowledged her
dying existence, her grinding jaws.
I didn’t really mean to kill her.
I just wanted to send a message that
she needed to be more watchful, wary.
But, she died, but she died.
I could go on…
The buck dragging his broken back
through the low sage, crying, crawling, dying.
I cried, I apologized as I cut his throat, I wept
as I dragged his damaged body to the truck.
Sage grouse, chukar partridge, and Hungarian partridge.
For every life I’ve taken,
to all of you
terrified, torn from the air,
b.b.s breaking hollow bones, tearing flesh,
feathers floating, falling
smashed into the ground,
their blood soaking
the desert dust
I’m sorry, I truly am.
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