To kill a Bird

root - Posted on 31 December 1969

by Charles Houston©2004 /Po Poets Project

The first things I killed were ants

Then I killed a bird

I killed bird after bird after bird

I've hunted deer

I've hunted rabbit

To my father and me it became a habit

I became the property of Uncle Sam

He shipped me off to Vietnam

The people there had to be free

Found more than half were hunting me

In just the nineteenth of my years

Crossing the threshold of all my fears

Often fighting back my tears

Friends that had my back

Toe tagged in a plastic sack

While hugging the ground amongst the ants

Still,--like a rabbit praying for one more chance

In paralyzing fear

With the eyes of a wounded deer

At that precise moment to me it occurred

"That will never kill another bird"


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