Hawaiian Pig Hunt

yelping noise from

the cage in the back

of the Toyota pickup

they revved the engine

before sunrise

two guys and six dogs


the rising sun sending early feelers

across the Koolau mountains

painting the clouds a light pink

to 4-wheel drive laboring uphill

on rutted dirt tracks

as far as it could go


walking on foot led by the dogs

along Hawaiian trails known by heart

past wild mango, and lilikoi vines

the dogs quiet, sniffing, straining the leash

until their hair and their tails stood up

they let them go hoping they would find a pig


cornered by the dogs

the pig stood still not knowing

where to charge, where to run

one guy grabbed its left leg, held on

the other quickly plunged the knife deep

behind the shoulder into the heart


they carried the pig on their shoulder

the dogs quiet now, a job well done

passing wild orchids, breadfruit trees

ohia lehua trees surrounded by Hawaiian ferns

back down the mountain, back to the pickup

life was good, with food to last for a month