Prey Turns To Past

Early October morning at daylight,
Odds of failure, great from the start.
Slipping into the dense hardwood forest,
A tale for grandchildren from my heart.

Across the icestruck oakridge plain,
Silhouette of my trophy appeared.
Bordering a thicket next to the creekbank,
Stood my silent prey, the Lord I'd soon thank.

On that same bank a giant poplar tree,
Legend holds, Sherman hung Uncle Morgan, lifeless and free.
Wouldn't divulge, where he buried his gold,
Under that poplar he rest, silent and cold.

Beneath that poplar my trophy stood so silent,
Stalking forward slowly, dare it move real fast.
Gun cocked and aiming forward,
Only to discover, a poor Southern past.

A giant mound of discarded humanity,
Piles of rotten clothes, rubbish and heap.
Layer upon layer of old books and shoes,
How many lives ago might I see?

Shard upon shard of broken milk glass,
How many dreams ago was that?
Traces of twine baby dolls calling out for revenge,
Mummified amber pint bottles, suggesting a binge.
How many regrets ago was that?

As I frantically dug deeper,
Wondering how many children were deceived?
Hearing Uncle Morgan call out,
For his mercy and reprieve.
How many lives ago was that?

With uncanny reverence,
I stopped in my tracts.
No gold here, no trophy.
Promising the spirits,
I'd never come back.

Recovering the mound with layers of leaves,
Head hung down, I left really fast.
Later to tell grandchildren tales,
How my prey once turned to past.

by Barry A. Lanier

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