The Early Shift

Tell me again
about your friend’s uncle:
the pilferer, poacher –
how he waited all night for you
in camouflage, shotgun cocked
over one arm, morning papers
bundled at his feet.

How he said,
I’m here to protect you,
fumbled in his jacket,
pulled out a dead rabbit
dangled like a prize won at a fair:
wet, limp, legs tied and black eyes
stumped with questions.
You’d never been so close
to a gun before.

Anna Selby

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