Produced by Dennis Camire

This week’s poem is by Mike Bove of Portland and Southern Maine Community College.


Taking Aim

By Mike Bove


Out over the worn path

    at the end of your road,


we walked to the sand pit

    where you stopped short

and put a rifle in my hands.

    I’d never held one. Never

wanted to. But we were friends

    and it seemed important


to you. Your face flashed

    pleasure. At me, maybe.

My nerves. The way I stared

    overhead and named the trees.

You set something

    in the distance on a rock:


a bottle or can, a paper box.

    Then showed me how to

raise and aim. How to squeeze.

    Bang and pulse is all

I remember, then you

    holding up the targets


when it was done.

    The sun so high, sound

gone away. The pleasure

    in your face, something

I didn’t understand.

    We walked back


over the sand, the gun

    in your hands. The leaves

rocking in place,

    shaking free of names.


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