Monday, December 17, 2012

To the Manner Born

It’s kitsch to think you’re hip. Once coal-black hair
now white. White boy could be human being.
Prove it. If you could show a scalp or two . . .
Harvest on the horizon. Load your guns,
Stoic. But for you the population
problem uncontrolled. Kill deer where mothers
feed. Kill kids where mothers send them to learn.
You like to think you gave up guns near twelve.
Puberty’s now out of style. Makes you think
of birds dying on the ground you shot out
of the dead mulberry tree, wings jerking
to breathe. You threw your Red Ryder Daisy
air rifle in the ditch full of water
flowing, gone. You grew up drawing live things,
naked faces, horses. Telling stories
of country preachers collecting dead birds.
Reading them aloud, alive, gave them air
to fly through. The fourth-grade teacher said to.
Such praise you received! No wonder you age
ungracefully. A school so small you grew.
Should the bomb drop, get down, under your desk.

(17 December 2012)

copyright 2012 by Floyce Alexander

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