While he waited for the school bus

1 December 2014

The neighbour kid plugged a coyote,
.22 long,
roadkill deer for bait,
a calf dead from pneumonia when that was gone.
Twenty-five bucks for a frozen coyote,
didn’t have to skin it.

Russian thistle tumbled down the fenceline,
caught, loose, caught, pushed before the wind.

He waited in Prairie’s cold distillery,
narrowed his eyes at the weasel’s black-tipped tail,
the moon low in the sky.

When the sun rose east-northeast
and he’d moved his jackknife
from his insulated overalls to his jeans,
he picked off gophers ’til he saw
the dust plume of the bus.
No carcass to hang on the fence.
The same weasel, black-tipped tail,
white fur shed for brown,
slipped around the old wooden granary
where the kid stood his gun
butt down on the two-by-four sill,
clip hidden above the lintel.

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