Crisp morning, November 15.
red-yellow sunrise, opening day of rifle season.
His gun, rests against the tree.
The Hunter stands with a Thermos of coffee.
Steam rises from it as he unscrews the lid.
He places the cup to his lips and drains it.
Places it back on the Thermos and sets it on the ground.
He is clad in blaze orange, quilted coveralls to hold in warmth on this brisk morning.
There is birdsong, and he sees an eagle take flight above the low lying mist.
He hears the call of wild turkeys in the distance.
The mist shrouds the dormant corn field and the lower branches of a tree.
There is movement.
And in the distance, the Hunter sees him.
His majestic head is lowered to the ground, eating leftover husk.
The Hunter reaches for his rifle, still against the tree.
The Buck hears the sound of the hunter’s sleeves.
He raises his head, and the Hunter looks at him in wide wonder.
All eight points of his rack reach for the Heavens.
He resets the safety and lowers his weapon.
The deer nibbles on the husk still in his mouth, and watches the Hunter.
The Hunter watches the Hunted.
There comes a snap of twig, birds take flight in the rising sun and the Buck leaps into the mist.
The Hunter grabs his Thermos of coffee, refills his cup and waits.