The late October frost melted before noon.
In the sky, Canada geese were flying south
over the Minnesota River Valley.

I, armed with my plastic shotgun in the crook
of my elbow, loaded my orange pop-gun bullets,
ready to lose them in the cornfield forever.

We hunters – my parents, farm neighbors,
a banker from town who always let my parents
write checks on future bushels, a preacher

my father liked to unleash his minister-
in-heaven/hell jokes on – swept our cornfields,
swamps to scare up pheasants. That day, the sky

was sprayed with birdshot. Later, sandwiches
and hot chocolate, everyone smelling of gunpowder
and feathers instead of cows, money, or a Brylcreemed

messenger of god. Now, everyone else in the hunting
party is long gone, faded into the dry rattle
of cornstalks. Some things lost in the field

forever. I walk quietly down my row of time, listen
for the tinny cry of alarmed roosters, wings flapping
into frosty air. Soon, they will not hear me coming.

Jari Thymian's poetry has appeared in Simply Haiku, Ekphrasis, The Christian Science Monitor, Margie Review, Broadsided Press, The Pedestal Magazine, Bijou Poetry Review, Alehouse, Chicken Pinata, and Melusine. Poems are forthcoming in Memoir (and), The Orange Room Review, Cherry Blossom Review, and the Kent State 3-year traveling art/poetry exhibit called Speak Peace. A chapbook, The Meaning of Barns, was published by Finishing Line Press, 2007. She was nominated
for a Pushcart Prize.


I remember being so excited to hunt pheasants with my parents. Very "big girl." I didn't have a clue where this memory would take me when I started writing. When I realized the hunting party was gone, I could see the end coming in more ways than one. I savor the bittersweet contrast between the youthful outlook and the older attentiveness.
PS: I hardly advanced beyond the pop gun, didn't like firing real guns.




Copyright 2009