Ol’ Boss Gobbler…

During the winter session offered at UMass last year, I took a creative writing class. It was really my first class of the sort and I truly did learn a lot. The class wound up mostly focusing on poetry and I could not be happier that it did. I discovered that it was something I enjoyed doing. Prior to the class, I don’t think I would have ever even tried my hand at it.

However, after seeing the reaction to my writing from both the professor and my fellow classmates, I decided to pursue. Not as a career but simply as a hobby. I have even entered several poetry contests. Not with an expectation to win, but just to feel like my work can be noticed in some small way.

With spring turkey hunting season fast approaching, I decided to share a poem I wrote for the class about an experience I had while turkey hunting last spring. So here goes nothing…

Ol’ Boss Gobbler

The wild turkey of

the deep forests and

sparse woods of North America

is the king of early spring.

They are a completely different

creature in those early months

that see the forest reborn

than they are the rest of

the year. Eyesight to rival

an eagle.

 

Any hunter who has

braved the predawn woods

with calling a gobbler in mind

can attest to that. Despite the needling of the

old-timers on the porch of Mumford’s

during the pre-hunt pit stop,

the hunter remains optimistic.

 

The old-timers chuckle at

That youthful exuberance they had

Lost to seasons long past.

Creaking sounds manifest from

Rocking chairs or joints. No one

Is quite sure anymore.

 

They roost

in trees; flight not impossible

and soar down at dawn in

an explosion of feathers.

They shatter the surrounding serenity

with a gobble that carries and

drifts through the still blooming

limbs to the ears of the eager

hunter.

 

The ol’ boss gobbler

that is the quarry of the hunter

is no easy prize to claim. That

bird is no spring chicken.

and is not fooled by much.

He’ll tease the hunter with his

brain rattling gobbles and

apparent approach only to

disappoint at the last moment,

to strut and parade for the resident

hens he aims to impress.

 

Sending the hunter home

with an unfilled tag but

a story to tell. Of the ol’ boss gobbler

at the old woodlot living to see

yet another sunrise from his throne

at the top of the sagging spruce

on the south ridgeline.

 

You haven’t

lived until you’ve heard a turkey

erupt in a gobble ten yards behind

you,

and catch not a glimpse.

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