Brothers by our hunter’s orange caps
(but I a hiker, he the weaponed one),
we meet and greet on a carriage road.
He points the barrel away from me,
I push deeper in my pocket a kerchief
white as the tail of a white-tailed doe.
He has had no chance at the “ethical
shot”—by which he explains is meant
a shot at what’s unmistakably a deer.
A shot against the backdrop of a hill,
not a clearing full of wood-stove haze;
a shot that will not cripple, rather kill.
I feel guided into more ethical ways
to let the girlfriend I’m tired of down,
inform my neighbor that his politics
suck, word multitudinous missives of
complaint, deal with a former relative
(the one who doesn’t deserve to live).