Cibola 40

Esteban (2) (cont’d)

Perhaps his father was
a hunter like that:
abstinent for a week in advance so
the game animals wouldn’t smell it on him
& grow jealous, camping without food
for days beside a game trail
while the raiders came to his village,
seized his pregnant wife–Esteban’s mother–
and took her off with the others
across the Sahara.
Your father was a hunter
she used to hiss in his ear
whenever he cried as a child–be it
a single tear track down the dust
on his cheek.

Your father was a hunter
& a singer of hunter’s songs.
He owned so many amulets
his clothes clanked when he walked.
With his harp & with his powders
he made the game stand still
he brought the big cat back in his bag
the gazelle alive in his pocket, ah–he,
he was a hunter!

So she sang (in lieu of other comfort)
one time when his step-father was away
in Marrakesh.

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