BB Gun: A Poem in Three Parts
I was seven years old and standing in the middle of the street next to my bicycle.
All the kids from the neighborhood were there.
There must have been at least twelve of us.
I don’t remember why, but the boy who lived in the house we gathered in front of
Got his BB gun from the garage, took aim, and shot me in the arm.
We were friends.
I think it surprised us both.
His mom came outside crying and told him to come back inside and
That it would be all right.
The area around her left eye looked bruised.
Everyone got on their bikes and rode away except me.
I continued standing there.
I still have that scar.
A week or two earlier, I sat with that boy on a light pole, lying on its side.
I think it was to keep people from driving in the empty court behind my house,
But it was a long time ago, and I could be wrong.
We sat and talked and talked.
He was a year older than me.
I remember that his parents weren’t like my parents,
But it wasn’t later until I understood how.
When we were in high school, the neighbor boy and I worked together--
An after school and summer job we got because
Our fathers both worked at the company.
There were five or six of us, all from different backgrounds
But friends at work.
One day the boy invited me to play pool.
As I got ready to walk over to his house, I was surprised to see him
Pull his car into my driveway.
He seemed nervous, upset.
We talked for hours in the car in the driveway.
Then we went for pizza.
He didn’t want me at his house that night.
His dad was drunk and acting mean.
That’s when I understood.
Copyright © Linda Craddick | Year Posted 2021
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