a carcass

Some bright hot long day last summer we stuffed a dryer sized cardboard box with old carpet padding, painted a bull’s eye on the side of it, and dragged the whole unruly beast out into the far back yard.  My oldest daughter, a succession of neighbor kids, and curious dads shot arrows into that docile, grazing, cardboard bovine (or was it a hungry, stalking, angry, cardboard predator?).  Hundreds, maybe thousands of arrow holes riddle the thing.  The recent winter rains finally destroyed the creature.  I looked out across the wet yard while pouring my morning coffee and saw the blue green padding guts exploded outward, the sagging skin slumped into a melting brown heap.  The sight of it somehow made me sad.  That melancholy one sometimes feels upon encountering a memory.  Like coming across a seal carcass on a long beach walk, a sadness for what’s lost and beautiful and temporary.
My daughter, like most self respecting 12 year old explorers, has moved on from her dreams of feeding her family with her bow hunting prowess.  Now its illustrating graphic novels, playing in a rock band.  Next season it will likely be something else.  What ever it is, I am ready to stuff the metaphorical carpet padding into the metaphorical cardboard box, and help in any way I can, to turn a dream into a reality.