Poem of the Week: February 4th, 2014

J. Bruce Fuller is a Louisiana native and currently resides in Lafayette, LA where he is a PhD candidate in English at the University of Louisiana. His chapbook 28 Blackbirds at the End of the World was published by Bandersnatch Books in 2010. His poem, “Boy, Age 9,” can be found in burntdistrict volume 2, issue 1.

BOY, AGE 9
By J. Bruce Fuller

This is what I learned of dismemberment.
Hunting squirrels with my uncle,
I learned to track them through the trees,
to walk beneath their rustle and chase.
When the squirrels noticed us they froze
and lay flat against the mottled bark.
It was my job he said to walk noticeably
across the straw covered ground
and move them around to expose
the squirrel’s splayed back to him.
The scattershot would hardly ever kill them,
but drop them like a top to the wooded floor.
I learned to grab them by the tail
and flail them fast against the trunk.
I learned to listen for the moment of death,
that hollow crack of skull on tree
like acorns falling on a tin roof, early winter.

                         for Bhanu Kapil

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