From “Red Foxes”

When she was younger Nessa shot a bird.
She was playing Annie Oakley. Her friend Ramon
Had handed her his Christmas BB gun.
She raised the barrel, sighting a mockingbird
On a telephone wire. “One shot,” she told her friend.
Impossible. They both laughed at her bragging
As she squeezed the trigger, then the bird fell down.
Ramon picked up the rifle, ran for home,
While Nessa, unbelieving, held the bird,
Refusing to accept the death she’d made.
So that was how easy making death could be.

From Red Foxes by Robert McDowell. Copyright © 2001 by Robert McDowell. Reprinted by permission of University of Pittsburgh Press. All rights reserved.