Sunday, December 2, 2012

de Soto's Swine

Tonight I saw two tusked and bristly razorbacks,
Descendants of de Soto's flesh-eating swine,
On the dark edges of my road home.
And from the dark ledges of my bookshelf
Dusty pages of histories opened,
Of heroes, kings, khans, conquerors
And the ancestors of these wild boar.

Then fear and caution bristled up my spine.

I take no pleasure in the hunter's rush.
Buck fever makes me sick.
But the thought arose:
I need my dog,
I need my gun.

From the dark edges of my road home
These ghosts from the past
Thought to cross my path
And I braked against an inevitable collision.
But these wise ones did not run in front of my tires
Or stand shocked in the headlights.
They turned back and retreated.

Then fear and caution bristled up my spine,
And dissipated out the top of my head
Replaced by recognition
Of fellow sentient beings.

And the thought arose
I still need my dog
To give me fair warning
I would not want to scratch their backs
Nor hear their grunts of pleasure.