Bullets 'oft gang awry' When we squint with lying eye At the target we had thought To level with a shot; Somewhere along the barrel Our curving expectation falls And what is becomes a part Of what we hope to shoot, Or perhaps an intervening wind Has changed beginning and the end. The future always lies Somewhere in the 'is,' Or so the marksman's maxim goes Hunkered in a bush of rose. The future always lies Somewhere in the 'is' Our eyes are scouting now; Hope and here intermix somehow, Nor get pulled apart Unless our killing art Delivers to the shaping thought The dead end we had sought. The philosopher with his carcass Dispenses with his guesses - What would be now is, And this is happiness. Nor does he as he eats inquire "What if I had not fired...." Or if a speck of dust had interposed Between his sightline and his nose. All the dedication of his thought Goes to digestion of what he's brought From the wild field, as able, To his domesticated table. Not until quick hunger comes again Will his thoughts curve and turn To all the 'Ifs' of chance That can cancel out his choice And send aim or word awry In the hunted day.