Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature: over 400,000 monthly users

Rick Campbell: My Uncle’s Hunting Trailer

1950’s Airstream, well-made, not like the junk

my mother lives in. You take a pistol, gleaming


like a moccasin, from a blonde cabinet and we walk

through the cornfield to a line of locust trees


where you set a can on a stump. I don’t remember

pulling the trigger, but the pistol kicked hard,


the air exploded; I missed the can. Maybe crows

whirled away, maybe wind rustled stalks. One shot


was enough, made me remember standing

at attention with the Junior Legion Drill team


as fathers fired their twenty-one gun salutes

on patriotic holidays. Despite my attempt to stay


stiff, my heart always flinched. I didn’t tell you

any of this. You were a good man. We went


back to the trailer and soon your Jeep was heading

back to the town we once called home.

From Gunshot, Peacock, Dog by Rick Campbell (Madville Publishing, 2018). 

Included in Vox Populi by permission of the publisher.

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