Academic journal article The Southern Review

Shell Casings

Academic journal article The Southern Review

Shell Casings

Article excerpt

I will arise and go now ... --W.B. YEATS

My brother would line up the bullets
on the back porch and arrange them
in such an exact formation that I was
almost sad when he pushed the first one
into the chamber and I watched
the .22 casing fly, watched the tin can
jump or the blue jay become a confetti
of feathers or the squirrel drop
from its high limb to convulse
on the grass before growing still.
But when my brother shot Ralph,
the neighbor's cat, and we buried him
near my mother's tomato plants,
I kept remembering as we dropped his limp
body into the hole how he would rub
against my legs each time I crossed
into the next yard to ask Mrs. Orlen
if she needed her lawn cut or her weeds
plucked or her driveway shoveled.
For days we heard Mrs. Orlen
alternately calling Ralph Ralph



then Kitty Baby Kitty Baby,


 which
I found myself remembering last summer
when my own cat was dying slowly
of kidney failure. … 
Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.