The hunt

The snow that hid between furrowed rows

collected somber whispers of early light

and lifted just enough of nighttime’s shroud

to make the going there a thing a man

could do.

……….. He stood a while, confused, unsure

of where to take a step.  “I’ve lost my way,”

He thought, “I’ve got to get a grip.”  He moved

his hands along the rifle stock to shift

the weight and ease the load.

……..

………………………………………. “I’m here.”

He heard his father’s voice again, still soft,

“I’m here.”

...….

Then, from the gray, a form emerged

and walked ahead as if to lead the way.

He knew this form from years of watching it:

The heavy shoulders and hunting coat of red

and black; the heavy boots that marked a gait

as sure as it was long; the easy smile;

the eyes of welcome warmth; the air of grace.

…….

“I’m lost,” he said aloud.  “And I’m afraid.”

…….

The form, familiar, stood atop a rise

and turned to him.  “You’re where you’re meant to be.

You’re mine: You’re strong.  We’ll hunt this land for years

to come.   I’m just across this other side,

down out of sight, but you’ll still know I’m here.

You stay.  Hunt here for now.  Time comes, you follow me.”

…….

The sunlight broke the crest as he watched his father walk away.

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