The Solemn Son 

By Thomas Carper 

“It’s his.” They’ll weigh it out behind the store.

Harry Nason writes the boy’s name, Steve

Burnell. The boy looks solemnly at the floor,

Trying to work it out. It’s hard to believe

That in one deafening moment in the woods,

At daybreak, as he shivered from the cold,

So much could change. He overhears his dad’s

Words as Harry has the story told.

“Two shots…the heart.” He’d hardly time to see

The buck before the crashing blasts that killed

Him rang in his ears so overpoweringly

That just when he was sure he’d be fulfilled

He felt dazed and deserted. Now the son

Hears Harry’s voice from miles away. “Well done.”