IN THE HEYDAYS OF HIS EYES
(taut jeans dancing)

An Anthology of Poetry about Being Young and Growing Up
 
 
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GRAMDPA'S .45

Bill Ransom

Lifting, both hands pulling whitely. How did Hoppy do it one-handed every Saturday? Grandpa cocks it: tic tic. Blinking like a startled lizard in some green rain cobweb swamp I squeeze, and shake, and squeeze. I am deaf, floating on my skinny back in choking swirls of bark and burnt powder. ". . . it it." I'm up on one elbow, blurring. Dad's there, by the stump, laughing. "Be goddamned, he hit it." And as he points out the neat, off-center hole, as he laughs the very last laugh I remember him laughing, I brush my watery eyes, and breathe.


STATEMENT ON HIGHER EDUCATION

for Ron Lampard, Nisqually

Bill Ransom

We learned that you don't shoot things that are wiser than yourself: cranes, crippled bear, mountain beaver, toads. We learned that a hunter who doesn't eat his game is a traitor and should wander the earth, starving, forever. We learned to fish the shadow side of creeks and to check traps every morning before the dew lifts. It is a kindness in our savagery that we leaned to owe our prey a clean death and an honorable end. We learned from our game to expect to be eaten when we die, learned that our fathers learned all this before us. Because of this you are brother to cranes, mountain beaver, toads and me. And to one old crippled bear that neither of us will ever see.

 
 
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