The Right to Bare Arms | Laura Lanik

My grandpa taught me how to shoot a gun.
He took me raccoon hunting at night
and we baited the black bear in the daytime,
driving the back 80 dirt road in a rusty blue truck.
Our gun rack hung in the bathroom,
the bullets in the kitchen drawer.
The 8-point buck I shot on opening day,
trailed blood for a mile before I found him.

I rode the yellow bus to a private Catholic school in town,
sitting next to my seventh grade crush, John.
On a crisp Fall day,
John found his father’s loaded rifle hiding
in back of the coat closet. He called his friend.
They met in the woods behind 7-Eleven,
where his friend pointed the gun at him.
He pulled the trigger and
John drowned when his lungs filled with blood.

I never went hunting again.

Laura Lanik teaches high school social studies in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  She is the founder and sole contributor to the book blog, Book Snob at Her writing has appeared in the Minnesota Women’s Press and Book Women magazine. This is her first published poem.


Respond to this piece.

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s