GATLIN’ DAVE - A Buck Fever Hunting Poem

GATLIN’ DAVE

by Alan J. Couture

Gatlin’ Dave stared at the Beast
with eyes of burning ice –
Raised his rifle to his cheek
and fired once. Then twice.

The shots rang out loud and fierce
on that crisp and wintry morn.
But the Beast heeded not Dave’s tries,
just stood there, eating his bait corn.

Shots three, four and five did follow
as Gatlin’ Dave pulled the trigger.
Yet still the Beast stood, unhurt–
Why? Dave couldn’t figure.

It gazed at Dave with eyes content
while filling up its belly.
The huge rack it wore like a crown
made Dave’s legs feel like jelly.

Reloading, thrice more Dave fired
at the Beast there before him.
But his quarry seemed not to care
and Dave’s luck was growing dim.

Shots nine and ten split the air,
yet the Beast was standing, still.
Then in a long-tailed flash of white
was gone, having eaten its fill.

It seemed to laugh at Gatlin’ Dave
as through the woods it went.
Dave hurled curses at the Beast,
even more than the shells he’d spent…

Gatlin’ Dave trudged back to camp,
cursing his bad luck.
“Next time I’ll bring more shells,” he vowed.
“Then I’ll bag that Buck!”

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Alan J. Couture
Alan J. Couture is an attorney by day and a fiction writer by night. The skills he has learned over the years in writing persuasive legal documents have helped him hone his fiction stories to make them compelling and tightly crafted. He has had short stories published in several literary journals, and his humorous take on a classic children’s story, entitled “Alice in Legal Land,” was published in a legal magazine. After a long layoff to raise his family and develop his legal practice, he has turned once again to writing fiction and sending stories out to online journals for publication. Mr. Couture rarely misses a deer hunting season at his family’s hunting cabin in northern Michigan, which his parents bought in 1952. The colorful characters he has met there over the years—from his dad’s cronies who rarely left their card games to go into the woods, to his brothers’ city-slicker friends who pretend they know what they are doing when they buy their buck tags and try not to get lost on their way to their hunting blinds—all provide a never-ending source of ideas for amusing stories and poems like “Gatlin’ Dave.”

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