All Images Copyright of James Mellick
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The Art of James Mellick: Hunter
                                   Hunter, 1992
                    Private Collection, Delaware, OH
                  Life-sized, butternut with copper trim

She stood at the window waiting for familiar headlights to turn up the drive. She glanced over at the pair of yellow labs laying in front of the wood stove. Their eyes were shut but their ears were cocked waiting for the one sound that they could distinguish from all the others, even before the pick-up turned off the main highway. For now, the dogs were their children. It was just as well because they could more easily forgive and forget.

The wood stove of a cabinet maker is always full. Still, the draft through the window and hardwood floor felt unusually cold as she drew her flannel nightgown tightly around her waist. There was a time when passion numbed the senses and the cold could not conquer even the raciest lace. But that fire has been reduced to an ember and she was not certain how long it would continue to glow. In bed, she often turned her back to him because she could no longer stand the bar residue of booze and tobacco.

He wasn't violent or anything when he was drunk. If he was, she probably would have left him long ago. No, he seemed to carry this great sadness and any destructive behavior was directed at himself.

For now, she stands at the window. Like a doe paralyzed by moonlight, mesmerized in her own flickering reflection.