Quarry – a poem by Bruce Morton


I would sit inert.
The BB gun pumped
The imagination, loaded
With illusions of the hunt,
Stalking barn swallows
In the beams they haunt.

Spit a BB and swallowed
As they flew away with each
Miss, until the miss wasn’t
A miss. A shock of feathers
Lie still there, a spot of blood,
A flush of surprise, throat frozen.

Crestfallen. Fun was in the pretense
Of hunt and hunter, not the shot
Or success. I gave it away, the gun,
To someone else’s son and took up
A simple stick, a spear, and went
Afield where the butterflies were.

Bruce Morton divides his time between Montana and Arizona. His poems have appeared in many magazines, most recently in Ibbetson Street, Sheila-Na-Gig, ONE ART, London Grip, and Ink Sweat & Tears. He was formerly dean at the Montana State University library.

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