Natty Bumpo, from "The Last of the Mohigans," James Fenimore Cooper


for Kathy



I imitate Leatherstocking's long, awkward gait,

Leading, as he does, with his knee, placing each foot

Down flat, firmly—quieting the dry leaves beneath.

He pauses often, becomes still, listening, eyes scanning

The middle distance, the forest canopy; he stops,

In one smooth motion up comes la longue carabine—

The concussion, the buck dropping, the reverberation.

He lowers his rifle, tamps powder, ball and wadding

Before the deer has taken its last breath.

Even then he is still, listening, watching; then,

The long steps, the awkward gait, the deer gutted

With swift, efficient, even elegant, passes of his knife.

We make a simple travois for our load, turn home,

And before home—a rabbit, a squirrel, pelt and fare.

The darkening greenery weighs, fatigue overwhelms me.

I fully understand how dependent, and how safe,

I am in the company of this man in his element.







Poetry by jim The PoetBay support member heart!
Read 369 times
Written on 2016-12-11 at 20:37

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Kathy Lockhart The PoetBay support member heart!
This is so quiet and yet it echoes over and over through my spirit. You create such a real place. I am there walking beside you. My senses are sparking to all that's around me. After all the activity and motion, what is left is the inner-voice. We each must find our worth inside the quietness and stillness of ourselves. Sometimes, such a task, drains our strength and leaves us weary.
Your ability to write such tender pieces is much appreciated. Thank you for sharing this here. It is truly one of my favorites.

poor deer, maybe it had a family