Well, maybe you have . . . how would I know? But there’s magic in it and if you’ve known flights at dawn and dusk, you’re luckier than most.


You Haven’t Hunted Ducks

If mud has never sucked your boot,
arms full of gear and struggling
And dumped you flat-assed,
hip boots filling ice-cold full
The momentary worst that could happen,
happening
Then you haven’t hunted ducks, my friend

If you’ve never broken ice in sheets,
sliding one beneath another
to open a patch of water with frozen hands
Watched with a friend or dog those open skies
where birds should be, but aren’t, nor will be
To trudge on home, empty handed . . . satisfied
Then you haven’t hunted ducks, my friend

Perhaps you haven’t watched the dawn
creep from black and white to color
Never heard the rush of wings,
before it’s light enough to see
Or late afternoons, a sun that gutters out
and streaks the sky with forest-fire flame
Then you haven’t hunted ducks, my friend

If you’ve missed the solitude of listening
to birds that chuckle a mile or more away
And haven’t watched a black Lab’s eyes
looking up and eager, ears pricked
Felt the shiver run from him to you
and followed his eyes to teach your own
Then you haven’t hunted ducks, my friend

When winter fires bring no memories
of conversations held with friends
And the dog that lies sleeping at your feet
dreams not a dream of watchfulness
If you find yourself impatient for the news
and sound-byte stimulation
Then you haven’t hunted ducks, my friend

Poetry Collection: Broken Pieces
This poem is included in
Jim Freeman’s
poetry collection
BROKEN PIECES
available here in print
or as an e-Book
in your favorite formats.