Impulse and Intent

My first kill

I was five years old

A fruit fly landed in my book

And I snapped it closed


An impulsive gesture

The pull of a trigger

The pages thwacked together

And the deed was done 


I cried for half an hour

Staring at the page in horror 

A little dot of blood

And a twisted black leg


How quickly life had faded

Between my tiny hands

I'd meant to do it, but I hadn't 

Wanted it dead, but not for long


I first held a gun

When I was eleven 

My mom showed me the safety 

And placed it in my waiting hands 


She told me never

To look it in the eye

I knew, but didn't realize

What the weapon was for 


I pointed the barrel at a target 

Shaped like the silhouette 

Of some anonymous man or woman 

Even as a child, it's hard to be sure


I aimed for the heart

Then for the head 

I hit my mark 

And won a prize 


They weren't training us to kill

Except that they were 

We played at murder

And the playing was fun


The playing was powerful

I was exceptional

I hit the bulls eye,

And Death was a friend


Until that same friendly Death 

Held in different hands

Came for my true family 

For my true friends


Until Sarah couldn't feel her legs

Couldn't be saved 

Until seventeen students

Had fallen by his "heroic" rage


Until you realize 

That the same knee-jerk impulse 

That drives a child to smash a bug

Can propel a finger to a trigger 

Can make that finger twitch 

Just a tiny inch

And worlds are undone 

And darkness has fallen 

All for a gun

Poetry Slam: 
This poem is about: 
My family
My community
My country



nice analogy