Birdshooting Season

Birdshooting season the men
make marriages with their guns
My father’s house turns macho
as from far the hunters gather

All night long contentless women
stir their brews: hot coffee
chocolata, cerassie
wrap pone and tie-leaf
for tomorrow’s sport. Tonight
the men drink white rum neat.

In darkness shouldering
their packs, their guns, they leave

We stand quietly on the
doorstep shivering. Little boys
longing to grow up birdhunters too
Little girls whispering:
Fly Birds Fly.

From Talking of Trees (Calabash, 1985), copyright Olive Senior 1985, used by permission of the author.

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