Michael Beadle, Flesh and Blood

Michael Beadle

Sprawled in midair,
a stick between its legs,
a deer hangs by a rope,
strung up
on a basketball goal.
Any minute now
as rain threatens,
men will emerge
from a doublewide,
the women a step behind.
A pit bull lurches
from its chain.
The neighbor’s boy
will study the scene,
replay the hunt
with a BB pistol
and fallen bike.
That night
kin will split shanks
under a sheet-metal barn
that sizzles
when it rains.
Cousins spit and lie,
cuss about buck
and trout
too big to carry home.
One man among them
with rusty fingers
and butcher blade
will step forth,
eyes wide,
eager as Cain
to carve his kill.

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