So Bev Megyesi can stop me at the counter
to say, Gary, I didn’t know you were a hunter,
having read my poem in the local paper.
The one the editor chose, because it coincides
with the last weeks in November, deer who have
to be remembered.
I tell Bev it's my poem's speaking voice, the one inside
my head I write on paper. That’s news to me, she says.
It sounds so much like you I thought you were
a native hunter and the down deer in the fourth
stanza was one, a flatlander, like you, was too shy
to admit to killing. Dragging from the bloody woods.
I don’t know how to thank her for thinking
I’ve lived here long enough to sound like a rifle shot,
a buck huffing his last breath. There’s almost no
difference between the speaker in the poem
and the writer sitting in his room, the woods
for readers and for poets. It’s the almost
that counts a lot. So readers like Bev and you
can see yourselves holding a pen inside a rifle,
walking across a written field. Wanting to make
sure those points you see are antlers, before
you raise your gun, write anything down
for your neighbors to read in the local paper.
— Gary Margolis, Cornwall