Saturday, December 31, 2011

Shooting Ducks

As the year began, so it ends, in darkness.

Rain all day, and then wind and waves, pushing rinds of rotten ice into shore.  Out with the old....
In a day or two the sea will freeze over again.

The morning begins with gunshots--a hunter motors out beyond the skim of ice in an aluminum skiff.  He wears desert fatigues to stand over the sea and fire at ducks. Unlucky birds! Targets as soon as their plumage brightens for mating. They're no good for eating, these "fish ducks" as they're called; those feathers are destined to be trophies, stuffed and hung on the wall. A whole industry of memory, monuments to successful aim, sophisticated scopes, his practiced trigger finger.

I'm perhaps no different, hanging out the latest shutter trapped colours, little shreds of recollection:  one place and then another: I was here, hymning to the light.

Still, shooting done my way preserves the ducks, in light as in flight, for another day.

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