A Hunter’s Heart

By Jackamo   

In a tree again
Tucked deep among the branches
The few leaves that remain are
Dull shades of brown and green
Washed out red, orange and gold scattered in too
My camo melds perfectly
Hidden away so well
That even God can't find me
Waiting silently, patiently, hopefully,
For the sight of my prey.
Fingers so cold, I wonder
At that crucial moment
Will they let me down?
Feet freezing, aching
Back sore, neck stiff
Nothing I can do but ignore the pain
Why am I here?
I could be lying beside my wife
Warm, dry, safe
What is it that draws me?
Is it the meat?
No, that I can buy
Is it the kill?
No, that's the only part I hate
Is it the chase then
I can't say for sure
But the fact remains
I am here
I have to here
The forest is silent
Except to those with a Hunter's Heart
Like mine
I hear a symphony of sound
Every snap of a twig
Each pop of a frozen tree
The wind at my face
The creek off my right shoulder
I am alone here
Truly alone
The whistle of a train, miles away
The hum of a jet
as it passes overhead
Are unwelcome reminders
Of the world outside the woods
Each sound distinguishable
Each sound I've heard
A thousand times before
Each sound I know by heart
There is no need to look
I know what it is
Long before it come in sight
But I turn, none the less
Behind me
The crash of a squirrel
As he searches beneath the snow
For the larder he tucked away
So long ago
I wonder, how does he remembers where to look
Or can he smell the acorns through a foot
Of frozen turf
Or maybe he’s buried so many
That a meal can be found no matter
Where he looks
One of the infinite thoughts that
Drift through my mind
But then, there is only time out here.
Time to wonder,
Time to reflect,
Time to create,
Time to resolve,
Time to dream.
No thought can last though
Each sound
Loud or quiet
Near or far
Natural or man made
Breaks my concentration
Snapped twigs behind me
Too heavy for a squirrel
Too slow for a fox
A pace so familiar to me
I turn to see
A doe
Now two
A group of fawns lagging close behind
My heart pounds and races
Ah, this is why I come
I search a hundred yards in every direction
Hoping that a buck is trailing
Cautiously, quietly, purposefully
Behind
The does and fawns have nothing to fear with me
I’m not hungry enough to take them
No buck shows
I watch as the group quietly
Browse along, through the thicket
And then, out of sight
Again I wait
Hands and feet stinging from the cold
Back and neck aching
Deep in thought
I wait
Alone
Hidden away so well
That even God can’t find me

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*This piece is not graphic at all* If I was to describe myself, "Hunter" would be the first word that I would use. Poet would come up somewhere in the middle of a very long list.