An owl’s hoot echoes through the woods
while crickets chirp their good-byes
to a dying moon that disappears occasionally
behind wisps of clouds.
Attempting to choke off a frigid North wind
that rips through his overalls, chilling his soul,
a hunter crouches beside a heavy oak tree
while he waits for sunrise.
Deer track litter a trail
which passes fifteen feet from the hunter,
and rubbed trees hint at a monster buck
that follows the does along the trail.
Another hunter hurries along the path
eager to ambush the ignorant prey;
while discerning dark shapes in the bright moonlight,
he smells an odd odor in the wind.
His heart starts to beat faster,
and his stroll becomes a trot,
not recognizing the overwhelming desire
to kill before his time runs out.
Anticipating the approaching kill
the hunter beside the tree
hears the crunch of brittle leaves
and starts to get buck fever.
But daylight has yet to crack the horizon,
so he must remain perfectly still and
resist the temptation to move or look,
praying that the animal will take the bait.
The wind howls a long painful cry
as the hunter beside the tree buries his face
into his hands, hoping to stay calm
because he needs to make this shot.