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Before Daybreak

June 1, 2012 by CouesWhitetail in Poetry with 0 Comments

Dedicated to one of Arizona’s greatest outdoorsmen and Lion Hunters-  Mr. Michael Pock, New River, AZ.   RIP Sir.”

The selfish intensity and passion of each moment
The memories that flood with each repetition
Different locales and different companions, but of course, mostly solitary
trying mightily to be part of the age-old blood sport of hunter and prey
The cavernous darkness outside the truck windows
Or the glow of fresh fallen snow beyond the tent flap
The smell of gun oil and leather, the feel of cartridges-weight forward of course
This should be shared, you feel, but company Would compromise the purity of emotion
This is better by tenfold, I reason, Than the months of daydreams and anticipation
Hours before the light, the darkness is my cocoon
In the early mountain chill or desert freshness
Moon glow silhouetting high rim rock,, ghostly saguaros or extinct volcanoes
Some night hikes that lead to dawn vantage points Will be remembered for a lifetime-
Elk bugles thundering From all points of the compass,
Climbing Malapai peaks with glasses fogged
Or the skunk at half a pace when I found God was merciful
It is the darkness, the before, like a book unopened That you know will thrill and engross you, memories unrivaled
Peppersauce Canyon, Cerro Prieto, Roberts Mesa or Kitty Jo mine
Some to be revisited, none to be forgotten,
All enmeshed In memory with each year’s pre-dawn rituals
I have discovered-slow I must be for it took 30 years
It is not success in the hunt most yearned for,
But rather one more preparation before daybreak
For the many memories to revisit me.

Lee Elbert
Navajo County, Arizona
Sept. 2001


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