From beasts we scorn as soulless,
In forest, field and den,
The cry goes up to witness
The soullessness of men.

~M. Frida Hartley

A HUNTER'S POEM

Lem Ward Crisfield

 

A hunter shot at a flock of geese

That flew within his reach,

Two were stopped in their rapid flight

And fell on the sandy beach.

 

The male bird lay at the water's edge

And just before he died,

He faintly called to his wounded mate

And she dragged herself to his side.

 

She bent her head and crooned to him

In a way distressed and wild,

Caressing her one and only mate

As a mother would a child.

 

Then covering him with her broken wing

And gasping with failing breath,

She laid her head against his breast

A feeble honk ...then death!

 

This story is true though crudely told,

I was the man in this case,

I stood knee deep in snow and cold

And the hot tears burned my face.

 

I buried the birds in the sand where they lay,

Wrapped in my hunting coat,

And I threw my gun and belt in the bay

When I crossed in the open boat.

 

Hunters will call me a right poor sport

And scoff at the thing I did,

But that day something broke in my heart ...

And shoot again??? God forbid!!!

 

This poem was published in The Chronicle in Crested Butte, Colorado.

 

 
 
 
 

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