Tuesday, October 1, 2013

bow and arrow

when i was ten years old, 
my parents gifted me a bow and arrow. 
christmas eve, 1997 
i became the most untamed human in suburbia lantana,
forever dressed in a bare chest and boyhood, 
this forty-five pound, 
slightly camouflaged compound bow, 
wedded my left hand;
with the round tipped aluminum arrows, 
quivered tightly inside the back right pocket of my blue jeans; 
their, solid colored feathers
brushing between my shoulder blades as i prowled the living room, 
i was 
an imagination
to be reckoned with. 

it nearly took my father's every breath to keep me indoors til’ morning,
and i remember the drive with my mother out to wellington, 
to pick up the three hay bales, 
that would stand behind a foam target 
and catch stray arrows.
i appeased my parents,
shooting at that foam target,
but all eternity knows i really aimed at much more fabled prey.

after school
i would rehearse, 
in the backyard, 
like my future as robin hood depended on it; 
i imagined these scenarios in which 
i’d be selected out of a crowded arena
to step down onto the floor 
and shoot one arrow 
for the chance to save everybody's lives. 
i rescued and lost millions daily,
but always ended with triumph, 
and together with the rejoicing masses 
we’d tramp back into the porch
to celebrate with a bottled root beer   

sixteen years later,
my bow gathers dust on the top shelf of my parents garage;
and its string 
has most likely rotted;
but every so often, 
on nights my arena 
is crowded with a pretty laugh
and sea eyes,
i remember with envy 
how confidently 
i use to draw back that string to my right cheek,
aim and let fly,  
arrow to hay bale,
arrow to fencepost, 
arrow to neighbors yard, 
as if my ability to hit the bullseye 
had all afternoon to wait for the back pocket full of my best tries;
after all,
i only need one
the sun sets long in my daydreams, 
and she said a root beer sounds really good right about now. 

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