on the east side of town
by the bridge over 67th Avenue.
I’m seventeen years old.
A fresh coat of snow on the ground.
Cold wind slaps my face.
My single shot 20 gauge loaded and cold in my hands,
a half dozen six-shot shells in my coat pocket.
sun is sinking on the horizon,
painting the sky watercolor pink
with wide swathes between the grey clouds.
From the top of the elevated tracks
I see a patch of gray moving in the thickets of brush
at the bottom just ahead of my brother.
I raise my shotgun to my shoulder and point it at the first opening
ahead of the rabbit, slide the safety off,
no more than a second or two,
for the opening to be filled.
I squeeze the trigger.
The shotgun explodes,
rabbit tumbles over its front legs
In Peckinpah slow motion
and abruptly stops, lying motionless in a thicket,
a drop of red in the snow next to its mouth.
As the echo of the shotgun blast fades
and the gusts of wind pause,
the whole world falls still
if only for an instant,