An orange nerf gun sends bullets ricocheting 
Off my temples, welting like horsefly bites.
And here in the dirt of my childhood home 
Shards of blue foam are buried like tulip bulbs
That never resurface. My childhood was 13 years
Of playing dead curled behind the row of boxwoods
I was a deer with a broken leg waiting to pass
In the quiet autumn evening as the earth goes cold.
I can only hope nothing hears the hitch of my breathing
Whispering through the vining undergrowth 
As the boys run, coyotes, frantic to tear me apart.
Their words creep hot and wet at the nape of my neck
When the neighborhood sinks fully into darkness.
I would limp home knowing the coyote in the room over
Is already asleep, sweat slick, sick of the chase.