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Arrowhead Hunting

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The land is full of what was lost. What's hidden
Rises to the surface after rain
In new-ploughed fields, and fields stubbled again:
The clay shards, foot and lip, that heaped the midden,

And here and there a blade or flakes of blade,
A patient art, knapped from a core of flint,
Most broken, few as coins new from the mint,
Perfect, shot through time as through a glade.

You cannot help but think how they were lost:
The quarry, fletched shaft in its flank, the blood
Whose trail soon vanished in the antlered wood,
Not just the meat, but what the weapon cost—

O hapless hunter, though your aim was true—
The wounded hart, spooked, fleeting in its fear—
And the sharpness honed with longing, year by year
Buried deeper, found someday, but not by you.

Source: Poetry

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This poem originally appeared in the May 2002 issue of Poetry magazine

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Arrowhead Hunting

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