Hunting down Bambi. {poetry}


It wasn’t uncommon,
growing up in my solid pine-treed
neck of the woods
for our fathers,
bristle-cheeked and manic-eyed,
to politely joke in Midwestern tones,
that their daughter too had accused them
of hunting down Bambi.

I guess it had always been some sort of joke in our family.
Dad drove the car back down from Canada
with the deer splayed and strapped,
like a buck-skinned star-spangled banner
to the top of the car.

When strangers pulled up at traffic lights beside him,
he’d cross his eyes and stick out his tongue.
A fire-eyed imp
come back from the woods.

It was a joke too,
when I came home in high school
late one night.
Fingers gently padding in the passcode
on the garage door opener,
and as the door opened
I screamed.

The lights were on
and a deer hung suspended from the rafters.
It’s plush white dandelion belly
gashed and stained in crimson.

By then I had learned
how silly it was to wince at death,
silly that my lip trembled,
that my voice pushed out in scream.

Because my father,
the sometimes imp,
had already taught us this lesson.

Moments end,
and lives end,
and marriages end,
and sometimes deer take their last step
and stop walking…

if you can sit in the pitch quiet of the woods
and look a moment in the face,
Well, by God,
you can probably get yourself through anything.

He invited me once
to sit in his deer blind with him
and he had to have known
what kind of hunter I’d be.

But I liked showing him
that I knew what it meant to sit and be quiet
and let your mind go.

While the Earth showed itself to us as she pleased
and our pulses dropped
and we watched and waited.

Every time a rabbit loped by
I sounded an alarm.
I don’t remember my father being anything
but quietly amused.
Watching his daughter in the woods,
behaving according to her Nature.

I wonder if he knows
that I know,
that I really know
why he goes there.
That I understand what it is
to put oneself in eyesight
of life and death
and not wince at it.

I wonder if he knows how much I love him
that even as a too-bright-blue-eyed imp of a girl,
I silently sanctioned him
hunting down Bambi.


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Brittany Connors

Brittany Connors

Brittany Connors is an actress, writer, and general life enthusiast based out of NYC. She is a lover of story, text, and all of the various expressions we find to make sense of ourselves and the world around us. She believes all expression is a celebration of this breathtaking existence.
Brittany Connors