Monday, March 10, 2014

Our Ancestors Clipped Coupons

Razor arrowheads seek to pierce
the bristly hide of the boar as it barrels along
on its spindly legs through the splintery maze
of the threadbare thicket that leans 
like a rickety fence at the edge
of the fallow golf course.
Its eyes stare, unblinking and bloodshot,
mouth stretched wide, eager to swallow 
the piercing spit of its destiny. The beast skirts a sand trap
and passes the sixteenth hole. Hounds and riders
chase it across the highway, the steeds
easily leaping the concrete barrier, chase it across
the empty parking lot of the old shopping mall. 
The automatic doors whoosh open
Cracked hooves clatter on the shiny tiles
(still faithfully buffed every night)
They dash past the grated and desolate storefronts
splilntering benches no one has sat in in years
(the elderly don’t even come here to walk
their slow shuffling laps anymore).
The hounds are briefly distracted
by the mangy rabbits in a cage in front
of the faltering pet store
An empty kiosk or two gets plowed through,
their flimsy walls no match for galloping stallions.
One of the Korean manicurists 
pops her head out of Big City Nails
and is struck in the neck by a stray arrow.
The hunt ends in the back of the remaining flagship
department store, past the clearance racks
where they corner the boar in a dressing room
in ladies wear, where the beast succumbs
in a tangle of coat hangers and unspooling rolls
of price gun stickers.  
The hunters call off the frenzied hounds
and dismount, one of them finishing off
their panting quarry with a dagger bought by his wife
as a Father's Day gift from the sporting goods section
of this very store, years ago, before the downsizing,
before the layoffs, when the countryside surrounding the mall
was still densely forested, thick with game and littered
with printed circulars announcing grand openings,
selection and values you had to see to believe.

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