This week’s feature appeared in RE:AL 33.1, Summer/Fall 2008.

still life: sparrow, bb gun

the shot slashed the air fast

as an eyelash, a comet trail


certain and thin. out wove

a thread red as the yarn


on a knitting needle, a cry

and a tousle of feathers.


then the sitting still

for a long time. the boy


with his pump-action daisy

he got from his uncle


for first communion, is he trying

to remember the patchwork prayer


he stuttered through

in syllables? the lord


is with–forgive us our—

yea, though I walk.


his dog has its nose in the crotch

of a tree, snuffing


through duff, while the forest

hangs its commas of leaves.


there are questions,

there will be many questions—


and there is a bb

beating in the breast of a bird


while boy and dog run out

of a forest, topiaries of sunlight


exploding around them.

–B.J. Best






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