There ain’t no call to cry, my Pappy says,
you quit them sniffles – time to be a man.
He takes the rifle. With a gentle hand
laid on my shaking shoulder, mutters: They’s
jus varmin, good for nuthin anyways.
Eyes blurred, I bite a lip. Blood stains the sand.
Smoke billows, fragrant; out across the land
a pair of goshawks circle through the haze.
My Momma, she’s relieved I passed the test –
A shout behind me: ‘Gratulations,son!
But Christabella, Pappy’s second wife,
(the one from Tennessee he brung out West )
sneers cold at me and simply says Well done!
You killed a thing – now bring it back to life.