I never learned to shoot it straight, the shotgun
hawk-nosed uncles placed into my pudgy
town-girl arms. The kickback, landing me to ground.
Harsh crow of laughter hit its mark the way
my buckshot never did, or would. But never
mind. It’s not shame’s bitter aftertaste
recoils my memory back into that dusty field,
targets more pocked rust than cans gleaming
mirrored in my black-haired uncles’ hooded eyes.
Gunpowder’s musty bite mixed with the musk
of men. I’d call it fear, if not then, now,
to see again the girl I was, her weight leaned
in toward danger, before my granny drew me
back to nest beneath her trailer’s eaves.