Mudlark No. 50 (2013)

The Loaded Violin

Before I knew anything, I knew
where my father had hidden the gun.
Every November I asked to go hunting.
Every November I found myself 
locked in a cage of musical notes
with my mother and my violin.
One Sunday while my parents 
weeded the garden, I climbed
the hamper in their closet to reach
the attic where my father stored his .22.
Asbestos insulation pricked my legs,
cobwebs silvered my hair,
and brass cartridges warmed in my hands.
I imagined what it must be like to kill
a bird or squirrel or maybe, even,
a raccoon at point-blank range.
I imagined what blood looked like
pouring from a single, perfect hole.
I aimed the barrel at my father’s
portrait hanging from a rafter.
I held the rifle butt to my cheek
like a violin. I lined the sight
on the bridge of my father’s nose.
I exhaled a long breath to steady my shot.

Kip Knott | Escape Artist
Contents | Mudlark No. 50 (2013)