Hunting by John C. Mannone

Hunting
John C. Mannone

He was always a farmer, but
now the ground is too hard
to till—cracked clay, starved
for rain, a wilderness he did
not expect. His wife pregnant
with twins (she just knew).
Hunger gnaws their bellies,
regret refluxes their throats.

He studies the red fox skins
draping their bodies, the soft
fur, the flesh. A black and tan

rabbit stands still, nearly
invisible among the rustled
thickets. It’s the first time
the man’s eyes burn differently.
Mouth parched. He lifts above
his head, a long oak stake,
Adam aims its sharp end at
the thatch of brown grass.

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