Bards & Brews Reader

Hymn for the Colt


Weighed a casing in my hand, I learned to love
the gun, my protector. Or my captor.

My father gifting it to me, all that
thunder, all that which makes a man a man

to fear, a judge, an arbiter of justice.
Said my father: not like that. Here’s how

you hold it. With every shot I closed
my eyes & after kept it always

unloaded. But never loved enough
the power he said it gave.

Said the horse trainer: it’s not
the rough stuff that works so I worked

at growing softer. Later, held the pistol
like a hurt bird, perhaps a swallow, not

like my father taught me as a man might do:
with a firm grip. From the Czech “to whistle”

it could be a burner, a hole punch, Miss
Spray ‘N Pray. It could be a heater, hip-rider,

holster tied around my thigh. Or nine,
slug chucker, gat. But I felt more

for the fillies the summer I saddle-broke colts
at the ranch for spare cash. Again, the trainer:

don’t think it breaking but acclimating.
I weighed a casing in my hand & waited.

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