Hunter's Progress

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Dave Nealon
Copyright 2011 Dave Nealon


Evening run across the neighbor's pastures and by the creek. Snow had melted in patches on the crest of each fold in the field, but something about the snow's crunch and reflection got me thinking. Then I saw Orion reclining on the Massanutten ridge, and I decided there was a song to catch. And there really was a whining dog who wanted to join me, and I tried to empathize.


Hunter’s Progress

© Dave Nealon January 4, 2011


The hunter’s just waking, rising from the ridge

One eye on the scorpion, the other on the twins

He scarcely looks down on this frozen ground

He’ll chase the scudding clouds across the sky


Footfalls crunch beneath me in a shadow patch of snow

Breathsteam blows before me and the creek’s impatient flow

Drowning out the low and lonesome sound

Long-eared owl or coyote in the holler


Let me run the fields

Up and down the hills

Winds come race me, stars can chase me

I just can’t be still


As my course approaches the neighbor’s distant fence

Howling for his freedom, petitioning for his chance

A blue tick hound, the chain that holds him bound

Pining for a purpose and a mission


I mark the hunter’s progress with an upward glance at whiles

His distance is degrees and mine is rolling miles

The winter sky breathes a whisper sigh

Between the boughs of feather-nested cedars