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20 December 1998 Issue

IT'S NATURAL

As I watch the image
Of the buck on the screen:
Old, past caring,
Being pulled down by
The wolf pack:
Hungry, determined.
I think of the hunter I once met
Who accused me of not
Understanding death.
"Death's part of life," he said,
As though it were something
Only he knew. "It's natural."

And so he went out
With his camouflage toilet paper
And his high-powered rifle
To sit in a tree house
Filling his beer gut
With yet another Bud-
Waiting for true death
In the form of a young buck, vibrant buck
Whose head he longed
To stick
On the wall
In his living room.

- Christine Beard

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