The Poacher and Brothers

Ian Haight



The Poacher


Out across the frozen pond,

running to the first field,

I punch through the ground’s

ice-surfaced snow.


Dean bends over,

throwing up,



      go back?”




    it’s cool



he says,


running under

the full moon.


Crossing into lower fields


light flashes through the trees

of a field ahead

                   a woman screams


Pretending not to hear or see,

we don’t speak.

Am I hallucinating?


Three more screams

and I run, ready to kill

with my kung fu

to be a hero

to a sexual object girl--

the screams,

fast, squealing

high; echoing

like a slaughterhouse

     red light slashes

through the trees



A jeep stands parked on the road

    red light screams


        pans the square

snow surface

of field scrub.


        “Hey man,

what’re you doing?”


red light out


carrying his rifle

he comes.


      “I said

                 what’re you



Throwing a megaphone

into the jeep

he looks at us

holding the gun.


                “It’s silver fox season.

                 Their pelts

                 are pretty expensive.


                 I was hunting them.”


Gun in the jeep

headlights out

he speeds away

kicking gravel

at my blue jeans.


                 “That fucker

was poaching




              No way

     would a fox

come to those calls.”



On our deck back home


                     “Did you know


                         turkey beards




can get ten feet long?”


       Dean says,

exhaling smoke

into the night’s







     After a day’s play at dusk,

we once climbed the doghouse

       roof.  I pushed, he pushed,

   and each push went touching


     into him or me, each warm hand

or tongued cry shaped a new king

       of space, as if by looking in

   each other’s eyes on that creaking


     world not made for us, we felt

more than meeting each other--we breathed

       bigger than those acres

   of wooded hills behind the house,


     bigger than the booming

furnace vent ghost, or our cat,

       shot near the corn

   rows, and we found we could live.


Ian Haight has been awarded translation grants from the Daesan Foundation and Korea Literary Translation Institute.  His poems were awarded the John Woods Scholarship, and were selected as finalists for the Pavel Strut and SLS fellowships.  Recent writing appears in Runes, Barrow Street, and Quarterly West.


Photo courtesy of dreamstime.




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Poems Copyright © 2007 Ian Haight. All rights reserved.