— Hudson Washburn

The bull elk hunched, queerly perplexed.
Seven-point silver-tipped rack reflexively lowered.
He bolts forward aiming for a headlong dash – interrupted.
The forelegs will not stride.

Back legs jump in unison,
Forelegs carried forward, dangling, useless.
Back legs thrust again,
Forelegs crumple down into the tall grass.

He is ecstatic, lowers the barrel,
Hand slaps all around,
Praise for the native guide,
Centuries of tracking prowess culminating.

I think I know this herd.
A sporting seventy feet away
Could as well have been thirty,
Or, better yet, hold out the hand with hay
Then swing a hatchet.

Watching from the bar
I hoist my glass, “what sport!”
My mates are quiet,
A suspicious glance, then two, at my pinot noir.

My lonesome glass is aloft a bit too long,
And, because there is an order to things,
So Rich astutely observes;
“Good shot”.

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