The speckled pheasant, a beautiful hen
had that long year been mother to a clutch
of hidden, frail shelled eggs, just three of which
fell foul to fox’s teeth and poaching men.
The rest the lead tore down, red pain, ruin.
A tally for the guns. Count them success.
The fair hen flies, now fleeing from the press
of keepers turned assassins bent on sin.
Through open, empty skies with racing blood,
in final flight in terror from the thrall.
A fatal blow then black and helpless fall
to waiting ground with monstrous, hollow thud.
“Good shot, sir, oh good shot!” Without a sigh
A feather floats down, mute, soft, sad. I cry.