Contains reference to murder of indigenous people
The ghosts of behemoths graze and stalk in my dark soul.
I have killed woolly mammoths, saber-tooth tigers, bears both brown and white.
I have hunted buffalo and humpback whales to near extinction.
I have hunted a bird to extinction, but I can’t remember its name.
I hunted raccoons with my faithful blue tick named “Drummer.”
That is, until a treed raccoon put its tiny hands over its eyes and waited to die.
I no longer kill for food, sport or greed.
I leave that to others who are just like I used to be.
Now I amble through supermarket aisles, no warrior here.
I think of becoming a vegetarian or sacrificing myself.
Those behemoths taunt me, “It’s easy to kill us, why not just kill
yourself? You’re made of meat.”
I hear about elephants and rhinos being hunted to near extinction for aphrodisiacs and profit.
I hear about human-made climate-changing wildfires killing billions of animals in their wake.
I dream of killing poachers (especially those who killed gorillas to sell their hands for
ashtrays), fossil fuel company executives and Amazon jungle rubber tree workers who hunted
indigenous people for recreation.
My dark soul is inhabited now by creatures I kill out of fear, disgust, frustration.
Large (not small) spiders, centipedes, flies, stinkbugs, cockroaches, ants, wasps (if they get too
aggressive) and the dreaded spotted lantern fly are now my prey.
My weapons are small but still lethal—swatters, my feet, a newspaper or an aerosol spray.
I have to stay in practice just in case….
Connie Woodring is a 74-year-old retired therapist and social activist who is getting back to her true love of writing after 45 years in her real job. She has had 21 poems published in various presses including one nominated for the 2017 Pushcart Prize.