“Scent and Bones” by Mike Saye

Mike Saye


I once watched my father pull a .30-30 from his truck,
lever a slug, and shoot a German Shepherd on a dead run,
open-sighted, through a hundred yards of trees.

It had killed a pullet from our lot
and tracked blood through the skeletal frame
of the new home we were building—
our first house—just up the hill
from the trailer I’d always known.

Daddy hit it high up in the rear leg
and it scrambled away—yowling, screaming.

A day later we found it by scent
beneath the joists of the new place.

My father dragged its body
to the woods where the smell
hollowed out a home all its own,
staked a claim for apathy,
and left its bones.

from Rattle #39, Spring 2013
Tribute to Southern Poets

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