They used to call them blood sports

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This morning, in the field, the noise of winged flurry, bright plumes threshing and hoarse bird cough. Leaf-flutter and branches parting, and pheasants land in a pool of peace. A truce, a stay of execution only, for they will not stay, even though I creep away and pretend I haven’t seen. Cage birds, freed for a brief moment, male and female with no nest, no young, no future but to fall beneath the bullets for someone’s bit of fun.

Life’s cycle turns, brings

birth, life, death, some pain, some joy—

man, terminator.