Early Hours

(To A. W. F.)


Since you packed your rubber bottom boots

And took the night train for northern Wisconsin

To hunt deer in the ten days allowed by law,

I have remembered your saying the hunters

Get up out of bed and dress for shooting,

For reading snow tracks, circling, waiting, firing,

At the hour of half past four in the morning;

Now this has been in my mind sometimes

When after a long day's work and more than half a night

I opened the east window before going to bed

At half past three o'clock in the morning

And there were deer feet and horns of stars on the sky.

I listened to the chiming of a watch and said,

"A couple of hours and Jim'll kill a deer, maybe."

There are different kinds of early hours.


Carl Sandburg