Wednesday, March 19, 2014

poem of the day 03.19.14

gun #2

it was one of those catholic holidays
where we were the only kids off in the neighborhood

it was a gray and moody and hopeless day
it was raining out

it felt catholic

mitchell had the idea
we’d go and visit sammy vaughn’s house

he lived with his old man up on highland drive
the place was all glossy wood and rustic
it looked more like a cabin than a house

none of us knew what happened to sammy’s mom

kids said she died of cancer
parents said she took off because of the old man

we played pool in the basement
there were guns strung up on the walls
deer and other animal heads were mounted as well

his old man had the biggest television
and there was a liquor stand made of crystal
that glowed like diamonds

schnapps, sammy said
when he handed mitchell and i two tumblers

the liquor tasted like a peppermint stick
and i was hooked

sammy poured us more as we played pool
he put on the big television and let the sports channel blare

he may have been drinking before we got there
because he was acting weird

playing air guitar to no music
trying to bounce pool balls off of his floor
jumping on the couch like it was a trampoline

he was usually such a quiet kid

check this out, sammy said
before we knew it he had one of those guns off the wall
and was waving it around the room

holy shit, mitchell  said
he ducked and started crawling around the pool table

i stood there with my tumbler of schnapps
and watched sammy do his best elmer fudd
stalking around the room after bugs bunny

he broke a lamp with the butt of the gun

when it hit the floor
the lightbulb popped and sparked and shattered

sammy tossed the gun on the couch like it was a toy
then bent down to pick up the glass shards with his bare hands

that’s when mitchell got up and ran for the stairs
i put down the schnapps and followed

you could hear the din of television from the street
we waited for the gunshot that never came

then we hauled ass back down the block
as swift and graceful as altar boys
working a busy sunday mass.


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