SONGS & DREAMS
The ride was long under the truck's quaking tarp
Though twelve others were riding along,
Nobody looked and nobody spoke;
Their voices silent during the broad trek,
Dreaded by all, the truck wavered to a halt;
Though the night was sultry, he seemed cold;
His senses reluctantly awoke him
Into the humid cricket-chirp-dotted night;
His leather boots recoiled the dense shock
The stars could be seen above the tall pines;
The truck abandoned him there on the road;
And the first shots rang out to kill the calm;
He ran through the sticks, suffering sharp jabs
Armed with only bare hands and common sense,
The shots had subsided -- breathless, he kneeled
Had the hunters lost track of all their prey?
Across the field to reach the meek cover
Hours of running to an unknown target;
Under the safety of the forest's cloak,
Where the game's finish line offered sanction
He climbed a bank overlooking a road,
He detected no movement, nor any sound;
Across the road to the other tree line.
Thicker cover up over the roadway.
He heard a distant sound and saw headlights;
He dove into a niche atop the bank,
He was deafened as he heard his heart pound
"Is he all right?" asked a voice as it stopped
A soft light enveloped him from above.
Then pattering around him by his head;
Warm hands examined his legs and his back;
His arms unfolded, fell out limp and soft
The trauma left him confused and tense;
The next day, he was rested and fit
Walking a gangway through the outstation
He saw an acquaintance whom he did not trust
He approached and asked what he could expect;
"You signed a contract -- they do as they please,"
But other than that, he did not reply,
At a side gate where a truck had been parked,
Was it the start of another day's game?
There stood a guard handing something out
Perhaps ammunition, survival things?
It was a consolation of false regrets,
He walked out the gate, free to go on his way,