You step out of the dew, I’ve got you in my sights. Used to practice at a picture of you, but now there’s something not quite right. I lower my gun, it’s those dark circled eyes. Coupled with your down turned ears, reveals a subtle pervasive why. You’re just here to relax—hunters need not apply. And If I shot I knew I’d have missed because I couldn’t bear to give you fright.

This goes on for a while. You do nothing but drink. But then after some time has elapsed you turn and stare right into me. I’m still holding my gun—I forget how to breath. And with the simplest blink I rethink all things that used to give me pain. Reminded of a friend, someone I left behind. And unless I’m prepared to again, I guess, I have to let you be.

I take your picture down, most days it stays on the shelf. People think you were startled and I, almost, could see that myself. A kid wanders in, calls me by my name. “Papa, don’t you think that it’s time? You know I don’t wanna miss the train.”

Thinking of the forest, walking to the tracks. It was just a few ticks of time, hardly any to react. But I still knew what your pick would be. He would have far more careful hands than mine.