hunted hunter

By the river, the water flows, making soft, ancient sounds. There is no one here.     
Tire tracks in the mud and remnant beer bottles glinting in the woods leave sign 
of the passing hunter. I am alone. I am vulnerable. It is more than my fear of being    
a woman alone, raped. It is deeper, the fear of the kill. My ears twitch, body poised 
as if ready to spring at the slight crack of a branch or rustle of leaves. I wait. The 
earth is pulsating with a deafening silence. I watch dark shapes emerge from the 
leaves, carrying hunting rifles. I am the deer, tasting every breath, holding onto 
every last minute of life. The scene  switches. My stomach growls. I taste the 
memory of the blood of fresh kill.  On some other day I would be content to 
languour in the shadows, sleeping away a lazy afternoon. But not today. I am Need. 
I creep stealthily in the darkness, my footsteps not making the slightest noise. I listen. 
I wait. I smell the air.  The sounds of the earth are magnifed, slowed down. So much
life, so many voices, everywhere. I am no longer afraid here, for I am the Hunter, this
wood, my Dominion.

NEL 11/03