I observe the forest laid out
Before me

Frozen over

After hours
Or maybe days
Of constant trekking
Across desolate terrain


Footsteps in the snow
Through bitter brambles

Over iced rivers
Leading me to here

A moment

Little clouds around ankles
In old handmade boots

Rifle drawn
Hand-laid stock notched
Scope sighted
Cheek beside the slide

Snow floats around my drawn hood
Eying through the spindly wood
A copse of thin dead trunks

My quarry
Timid and alert
Unaware of its pursuer

I follow from a slope above
Cold fabric numbs my legs

Arm flexed and arm extended
Poised and breaths slow

My aiming eye widens
Eyelashes stiff

Pupil awakens to compensate
And dialates to absorb
A contrasted background

Searching for the shadow
Out of place
Or the color that shouldn’t be
Between heartbeats

Drowning out
All the white noise
Dulling evergreens
And needless sound

Iris twitches

Hand and trigger finger

Goosebumps rise
Rogue tingles
Course up my spine

A moment

Narrow on the sight

Deciding now

A moment early to pull the trigger

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