The Mourning After

It’s one week since whitetail season ended
when I had walked out of the woods and gone home a little confused
like a shunned dog 
happy to run outside thinking it was like all the other times - a quick romp
but day after after day of circling the house he finally gets it 
no one is letting him back in
and it’s cold 
so he better start chasing squirrels 

I am more and more angry with myself for not shooting that doe that gave me a shot that wasn’t perfect but it was a shot
that any other hunter would’ve taken. 

I was still so full of chase. 

I’m not angry with myself for not shooting her later that night when I saw her through my window as I undressed for bed.
She was eating all the broccoli and kale and mustard greens in my garden
which I had abandoned anyways 
but seeing her there swirling around with all my other stew pot crops and not being able to taste her did make me regret not digging up the rest of my potatoes.
A lot of people may have shot her then, and told the warden they’d fired late afternoon and found her in the morning
but in that beaver moon blue light 
you’re dreaming 
atoms don’t behave like life.
She was never even there.

Jenna Darcy-Rozelle