The deer hunter is an orange dot
among the trees on the hillside
from where his teenage son sits
in their bright red pickup, running
the engine to thaw out his toes.
There’s a spot in the otherwise
uniformly white sky that’s too bright
to look at. A red-bellied woodpecker
taps, listens, taps — a surgeon
tending to whatever succulent
parasites infect a tree. The deer
have left the melted semicircles
where they slept & their soft
brown eyes & beautiful muzzles
are now bent on finding their daily
five pounds of twigs & tree seedlings,
converting the forest of the future
into flesh & excrement. Day Six
of rifle season & they’ve turned
wild again, like any hunted thing.
In the field, the shadows of dried brome
are so faint, you’d never see them
if they weren’t trembling
in every curled extremity.
Also, I encouraged Dana Guthrie Martin to post her statement of purpose as a poet, which she drew up as part of the MFA submissions process. It’s one of the best personal manifestos I’ve ever read, and now it has me thinking maybe I should attempt something similar. If you were to write a statement of purpose — as a writer, as a blogger, as a human being — what would it say? How would you justify what you do, or don’t do?