Today's poem is by Bob Hicok

Love of Sport

In the woods, place of tall and green, place of losing
your way. My father
and a fat man, Santa-sized,
with bow and arrow, I'm in tow, childhood
is trailing, waiting to eat
I am hungry, waiting to drive
I am free.
The man shot at targets, killed circles
of red and orange, I never learned why
we were there, what my father
was asking for, he was asking
for something, he didn't
shoot arrows, didn't know a maple
from Brahms,
didn't have a job. I think food
is what he was asking for, rent, I think the fat man
liked making him hold the quiver,
I think I liked the sound of arrows
splitting air.
In the car, my father gave me crackers, put his head
bull's-eye on the horn,
the car screamed, he pressed, he lifted, smashed,
he beat the horn to death, beat himself
to blood is how I knew
this was hunting, was something men did
for fun.

Copyright © 2006 Bob Hicok All rights reserved
from the Southern Review

Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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