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
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.
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
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.
lived until you’ve heard a turkey
erupt in a gobble ten yards behind
and catch not a glimpse.