A Father’s Voice

Marena Benoit

Uncle Dicky is collecting all the beer cans strewn

around the living room in a five-gallon bucket.

Getting ready for target practice. 

The cans tinkle against each other like

a tin kaleidoscope, as he slings the bucket

around the house, reflecting the sunlight

from the windows in every which direction.

His neighbor Sam is there too. Dicky’s got his gun

strapped over his shoulder. He throws it over

his chest. He points it at Sam, laughs and 

says, put ya hands up.

Dicky responds to the desperation in Sam’s eye by saying, come on

it’s not even loaded but concedes by pointing it slightly to the left.

The bullet then leaves the gun and meets the wall with a kiss

as the wallpaper forms a flower behinds its path.

The voice of his father Oscar was pulling his aim away.

Never point a gun at another human

was Oscar’s favorite mantra, but his father

only opens the bedroom door,

looks at the hole in the wall,

then closes the door with a frown. 

Marena Benoit is an English major at Florida State University, and an avid rock climber who has scaled cliffs in Tennessee, Colorado, and elsewhere. Her favorite inspirations for poetry are her rural upbringing and love for nature. She is involved in the literary magazine at her university, so check out the last couple of issues of the Kudzu Review from Florida State if you would like to see more of her work!