A Little Ways Up North

the .410 bore was perfect
full choked for partridge
either perched or flying

he’d dropped another one onto the small pond
getting his feet wet
when he’d stepped through the ice

he dressed it – wings tucked then yanked quickly –
and placed the breast in waxed cardboard
the carcass tossed aside for any hungry vixen

walking the path that ribbonned through pines
he picked up boughs and cones
to decorate the hunting shack

smoke from the rusted chimney
carried wintergreen and blueberries
mixed with breadcrusts ready for stuffing

his uncle looked up from the woodstove
woodspoon in hand
white beard streaked from sampling

“Looks like you got yourself soaked…
take your socks off and hang ‘em
in front of the fire.”

They sat together sharing a bottle of port
telling stories and retelling memories
eager for another perfect holiday meal

– – – – –

Written a few years ago, part of a Christmas poetry exercise. RLR

 

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