I remember him falling beside me, the dark stain already seeping across his parka hood. I remember screaming and running the half mile to our house. I remember hiding in my room. I remember that it was hard to breathe and that I kept the door shut in terror that someone would enter. I remember pressing my knuckles into my eyes. I remember looking out the window once at where an ambulance had backed up over the lawn to the front door. I remember someone hung from a tree near the barn the deer we'd killed just before I shot my brother. I remember toward evening someone came with soup. I slurped it down, unable to look up. In the bowl, among the vegetable chunks, pale shapes of the alphabet bobbed at random or lay in the shallow spoon.
From The Caged Owl: New and Selected Poems by Gregory Orr. Copyright © 2002 by Gregory Orr. Used by permission of Copper Canyon Press. All rights reserved.