I have an agreement with the
large bucks of Nebraska
that stipulates that we will
only come face to face
when I am not carrying my rifle.
This agreement works especially well
for two reasons:
I did not go hunting as much as I should,
and bucks are well-suited to avoid me when I do.
Just yesterday, I was visiting a friend
and awoke early to look out the
to spot a 10-point creature
slowly making its way across
the alfalfa field to the far cedars.
Hunting season: check.
Permit purchased: check.
But, as much as I need a day in the field
that ends with that sacred moment
hidden in a swale while you come
face to face with your own mortality,
I am also grounded by
the view of the tail of that buck as it disappears
into the cedars to prove
that I mean absolutely nothing to him.