Walking Through a Forest in Hunting Season

It was late October

and the woods were filled with hunters

so I put on a fluorescent coat

and tied a shock of blue cloth

around my son’s shoulder.

Then we scrambled up a hillside

for a flower

that was no flower

but a carcass

most likely of a young deer

picked bare with little red remaining.

Is it a dinosaur? my son asked. Probably not, I said,

as I pulled him back

toward the overgrown trail.

We carried on through the forest

marveling at the pools of copper needles

the creek of dark water

the sudden snaps of branches

reminding us in our reactions

just how little is separate.

Gregory Wolf