Red Handed

Wed, 04/04/2018 - 20:00 -- Saroda

His hands are calloused and torn,

browned by the sun as always but

now they are stained red with blood

 

Silent, he grips

the butt of his rifle with one hand

and a dirty cloth with the other

 

Twisting, wiping, polishing,

checking the chamber,

cleaning the barrel

 

The forest is an aquarium tank,

tinged blue with filtered light

and alive with swaying trees and creatures that scurry

 

"What have you done?" I ask him

as he sits admiring the gleaming steel,

hands still red

 

He startles and looks at me—

holding up his prize, he says

"I've cleaned my rifle."

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