The lonesome oak tree held its fire
We watched the last brown leaf
hit the ground and blow away....
An evening gunshot let him know
the hunt was over...
A familiar cold moved in
somewhere between snow and rain...
- Robert Earl Keen
I did some errands and couldn't help but notice all of the hunters in town, gathering their supplies together and smiling and at the cool, damp weather which lends to their success. I smiled at them, groups of men looking like boys.
I felt sorry for myself, sorry for my loss, which is not new but always with me. I ate some fresh bread, ripped in chunks from the loaf in my cart while i slowly pushed around the aisles of light bulbs and steel wool.
I frowned at the hunters behind their backs. Somewhere, someone had no idea that next year, their hunter won't not be among these boy-men. And then he won't be there for the next six years, either. He isn't coming back.
I felt sad for my mother. I felt sad for a friend who lost her hunter just last month. I felt bad for fatherless and grandfatherless children. But mostly, I felt bad for myself.
I miss him.