By Robert Wrigley
He also finds the wood and steel beautiful,
and the slickness with which all the moving parts
slide open and shut, lifting and lodging
into place the sleek, copper-clad,
steel-jacketed projectile, which, weighing less
than half an ounce, will cover, once
the trigger is pulled, the 80 yards to the doe
in the time it would take him to blink.
He aligns the cross hairs of the scope
just behind her right shoulder, where the heart
pumps and the lungs, she being absolutely at ease
and grazing, exchange the same mountain air
he also breathes, though he breathes less easily,
since he hopes the single shot will kill her
cleanly and knows, even so, that
should such a clean kill be accomplished, still
he will mourn and be glad simultaneously and will
for the next hour or more be bathed in her blood
and intimate with the then-stilled machinery
of her living—the yards of guts, the probably full
bladder, the buttery liver, and more—nearly all
of which he will leave on the forest floor
and all of which but the head of her will, he is certain,
be gone within two days, a blessing for the coyotes
and the black-and-white custodial birds. Even still
he has not yet squeezed the bullet free but breathes
with her to be free of her, allowing each breath
to elongate, allowing himself to see and to note
how the light snow that has been falling
all morning lands on her shoulders
and on the dry last leaves of the shrubs
just behind her and even, though he does not see it,
on the barrel of the rifle itself, some of which,
from the concussion of the shot, will fall away,
and some, due to the fire that accompanies it,
will melt and refreeze as ice as he works on her: the doe
who had discovered so close to the coming winter
the same patch of long and still-green mountain fescue
he himself found some weeks ago on a walk, the same day
he found this other spot as well—sheltered, slightly elevated—
from which the fine grass and all the ways to it could be seen, the day
he knew all he'd have to do was wait long enough, as he has.
Paul took the van with the working air conditioning to work on Friday, so I had a quiet day at home. I sorted out my Renfaire clothes, since we're going to the Pennsylvania Faire this weekend with my in-laws, and I wrote a review of "Attached", one of the more infuriating Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes of the final season. Adam and I tried to go see the birdie when he got home but we just missed Rose -- we will try again tomorrow. Both kids say they have had good first weeks of school, which is really all I can ask for.
My parents' power went out late in the afternoon and for a while we weren't sure where or when we were having dinner, but it came back on around the time Paul got home, so we went over there to eat and watched part of the Dallas-Miami game (rooting for the Dolphins, of course, though the Cowboys won -- sadly, the Ravens lost their last preseason game on Thursday night, and the Redskins did too). Then we came home and watched Crimes and Misdemeanors, having quoted it once too often to Daniel ("If it bends, it's funny; if it breaks, it's not funny") -- that remains the best movie made in the 1980s as far as I'm concerned.
Fannish5: Name five kickass female characters.
Oh, it was hard to limit this to five.
1. Kira Nerys, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
2. Xena, Xena: Warrior Princess.
3. Buffy Summers, Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
4. Elizabeth Swann, Pirates of the Caribbean.
5. Sarah Jane Smith, Doctor Who/The Sarah Jane Adventures.
We are all happy here that Hurricane Earl decided to skip a visit to this area and is now a tropical storm; hope everyone in the path is all right and hasn't had travel plans disrupted too badly, and hope no one in New Zealand was affected by the earthquake. I am amused that, in the midst of the latest LiveJournal wank, Vox has sent out e-mails announcing that it will be shutting down at the end of the month...whatever SUP may be doing, I can't say I miss Six Apart. Have some more photos from when we picked blackberries and raspberries last weekend...
Here are some more photos from berry-picking at Butler's Orchard last weekend.
Plenty of bees were helping themselves to the bounty...
...as were ladybugs, stinkbugs, and an assortment of other beetles.
Though late in the season, there were raspberries just emerging as well as ripe ones.
Adam picked many and demanded that we have them for dinner.
Inside the store were other locally grown fruit and some imports...
...and cats who were clearly modeled after ours.