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Paddle, Camo, and Shotgun – a Ghazal

Photo: Vidar Nordli-Mathisen. CC0/Public domain.

Kindergarteners in a circle play Duck, Duck, Goose,
perhaps their families will eat a Christmas goose.

Our son-in-law packs the two big kids in camo and canoe,
takes aim to shoot and then sends them to retrieve their Christmas goose.

Dad’s rule at their hunting house, his Wyoming rule from his own dad:
if you shoot it or catch it, you have to eat the fish or deer or elk or goose.

The kids love hunting with their dad so much they abide by the rule.
My own grandparents on the Montana homestead ate bear, not goose.

I was raised in cities and assumed all weapons for assault, but now I know
folk who shoot for sustenance and sport, their Christmas goose.

My grandson cleans guns and sharpens knives, passed gun safety class
well before he took a shot, though he missed a hit on the Christmas goose.

Under father’s careful eye, brother and sister add noise inside a marshy
pond and paddle toward dad’s fallen fowl, their family’s Christmas goose.

Dad tells of hunting with his dad in Wyoming’s open season, driving pick-ups,
and cold hikes-waiting out the rural trek to bring home game and goose.

Now wearing camo, Chad with his son and daughter, map the back roads
of Washington; soon all will dine on a somewhat tasty Christmas goose.

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