He was a frontiersman who liked to live by himself,
hunting all the beasts of land and water and air,
priding himself on his aim and his sense and his stealth,
never missing a shot at squirrel, turtle, deer, or bear.
Nor was there a tree he could not chop down with his axe,
swinging as well as Paul Bunyan in his prime
and felling forests faster than most lumberjacks,
building a cabin and a barn in half the normal time.
He also hated the Natives that lived near those lands
and, seeing an Algonquin boy walking by one day,
he raised his rifle with steady, unwavering hands
and shot that boy dead as he would have any other prey.
He then congratulated himself on his keen aim
and went about his life as if nothing had transpired,
feeling neither remorse for killing the boy, nor shame—
he went to bed feeling nothing at all, except, perhaps, tired.
That night, however, he slept in restless fits,
hearing a large beast prowling among the trees,
and waking up in alarm, thinking he had lost his wits
until he heard its roar among the violent breeze.
Jumping to his feet, he grabbed his gun
and ran out into the gusty wind,
spotting a large, dark, bristling abomination,
and aimed his rifle, seeking the beast’s end.
He heard it whisper to him, like a child,
and he pulled the trigger to silence that voice again
as the thrashing of the storm became so wild
that he could only scarcely discern the sharp ricochet din.
Thunder flashed and he laughed to see
within that shadowy and chaotic forest
that the beast he feared was but a cedar tree—
turning, he took two steps and toppled, felled by the bullet in his chest.
Each cricket churr-chirps his choir wings
to play a song with the rest of the churlish boys
like drunken coeds looking to score some flings
amid that frat-house background party noise;
but there are other ladies also looking for a lay—
to lay their eggs in a desperate cricket guy
while he sings his heart out, thinking it his lucky day
as that ochre-colored temptress stops by.