Cool dark breeze
through the screen door,
mud grips whine upcanyon,
men’s faces lit by flames
exaggerate bucks in rut
before the hunt—like
headlights on narrow curves
slow to follow, scanning space
all the way up the mountain
where Cutlers ran cattle
for almost a century.

I have hungered
for venison, felt the tough
wild rush through my flesh
on the scent of it
cooked over fire—believe
to have absorbed his eye,
his stealth and stamina
as I inhale his grace—
just as I have hungered
for the company of certain men
and drink, for the camaraderie
of calloused hands and hearts
wide open to the stars.

2 responses to “OPENING DAY

  1. Good morning, John – I know what you mean! My taste buds hunger for venison, biscuits and milk gravy for breakfast! A little wild gooseberry jelly would be a good accompaniment! Happy hunting!


    • Thanks Sophie, nothing like buck meat, though I haven’t shot a buck in years. Just seeing them and knowing they’re on the ranch is enough these days. Chuck usually brings a little backstrap by to barbecue, it helps keep the wild alive in my blood.


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