And Heard (a poem)

You can't deflate A.J.
(a small difficult boy who spent evenings
away from TV and bath water to
throw stones
smack to the zenith and beyond;
the stray shots fretted his parents
and their friends
and neighbors who
complained about broken glass and pitted paint and
nervous pets
who would shiver under the steps whenever
came round,
yipping and throwing).
mum and daddy confronted him;
asked him why while
otherboys were comfortably at
their homework and
chores: dishes and takeoutthegarbage
(being goodastheyshouldbe children)
HE stood in the street with handfuls
of gravel, riddling the sky.
So, young man, why?
And his reply:
(never slowing or looking anywhere but up
for even a blink)
"Target practice."
And mum and daddy breathed out very slowly
and smiled unsmilingly at each other
and fluttered their hands like edgy sparrows and
tried to, well, now how do you explain
just how SILLY--

GOT ONE! screamed A.J. dancing foot to foot
as they shifted their heads on one focus
to observe the shredded-light tail of a
shooting s


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