This poem is dedicated to my father-in-law, Arthur 'Bud' Evans, Thunder Bay, Ontario.
Itís not like you havenít tried to adapt to the new ways
in your old age. Like gun licensing - jumping through beaurocratic
hoops, hanging onto that part of you that only comes alive in pine
and birch, aspen, fir and poplar. Then you gave in, gave your guns away
to your brother, and you having to ask him to use them. Instead,
You told hunting stories, like the time you were about a hundred
miles up on the Spruce River Road with a bunch of buddies, came around a corner, and
there were all these white birds -- Snow Ptarmigan -- white and pure and floating
over the first dusting of October snow. It stopped all of you in your tracks:
The sheer blessing of the moment.
In contrast to your most recent conversation with the clerk at the
Ministry of Natural Resources who advised you in no uncertain terms
that you couldnít even buy a game tag anymore. You felt the door closing
on yet another chapter of your life. So you fought back, 83 year old
hunter warrior, in the only way you knew how --
Told the guy to ĎGo to hellí, as you hung up the phone.
You framed your heart in such a visually inspiring backdrop. A touching tribute. At first I thought it may be too wordy. Then I read it slowly and felt your pace, the pulse of your piece and I thought, "Nice, very nice." Another masterful slice of real life.