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Gun Slinging at Ten

It was the winter ‘63

that I found, under thaw, a gun,

as ending, schoolboy trek for home.

The lesson had been clearly taught,

from posters, post-war infancy,

if metal object, armament

was seen, then not to lift it up.

So wise, and in obedience trained,

I shuffled toes and nudged it light,

dislodged the barrel from the snow,

through the ice, and down the road.

I kicked it, sliding, trigger ice;

so through the gate and up the path,

and there it lay beneath the step.

To age of ten, deadly design

not in my range, experience.

But comics full of biff and bam,

grenades armed, lobbed in fantasy,

lopped bits hidden in the print,

published, raking in the cash.

War tales spin out on a limb;

nothing good comes from this trade,

war toys for civilians,

minefields for men’s armoury,

when boys should fix on Minecraft ploys.

I knocked, my mother, shocked at sight,

the gleam that raiders chucked about,

my pride that I’d not lifted it,

but followed rule that adults gave,

right to the letter, as been said.


First published by Academy of the Heart and Mind

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