Spencer Linford

A Hunting Trip

The trip took some time
because the road 
was slick with snow.

I had been invited to
a hunt to shoot 
large game and drink
a lot of booze.

I had a beer in the backseat.
I had never been to a hunt before.
I had never shot a living thing.

When our car arrived
the camp was dead.
The campground had turned in for the night.
I unpacked the trunk, stored all the guns,
and cracked another beer.

We were up before the sun, my brain was tired.
My legs were stiff 
as wooden boards, but
it was time
to kill.

We drank some more 
before we left to kill the cold.
I wore a fur hat with orange ear flaps.

We took our time marching through the woods.
The snow crunched under foot.
I led the pack because I walked fast.
because I wanted to leave.

In a clearing of trees
We finally found:
A buck, a deer, 
and two small fawns.

I lowered the sights and took the shot.
The bullet missed its mark.
And now I know
we drank so much to numb
our minds.

The three that lived ran off.
“I think I need to go,” I said.
The walk back out felt bad.
I had aimed for horns, 
killed the mom,
And left two fawns for dead.

My lethal intent had gone astray
And left me feeling blue.
Being responsible for things you can’t change can cause a lot of pain.
I think that’s why Jesus had a thing for wine.

On the ride back home
I didn’t drink. I sat in the back and tried to sleep.
But, in my head
I kept replaying the shot
that made the doe drop dead.

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