JH (05-30-1950 / Tennessee)

22 Rifle

It was the summer that i turned 17
I wanted a 22 cal. rifle for my birthday
that was all i thought of, boy i shot a million
invisible rounds at everything from cans
to mountain tigers, being invisible too

The rifle i wanted cost fifty dollars
and money was tight, but i knew
that daddy worked overtime down
at the sawmill, just out of town

When the day of my birth arrived
i was up with the rooster, shouting
to wake him from dreaming of pullets
I had bought a box of ammo the day before

When Dad walked in with a small box,
wrapped in white paper, i was in shock
i tore off the top and saw the words
HOLY BIBLE, i turned four shades of red

That was the day i left home-13 years ago
not to return until his funeral last week
today i have to clean out his desk before i
leave to go home to where i ran before

In the bottom drawer i find that bible
still wrapped in white paper, with the top
tore. I sit and open it when a piece of paper
falls to the floor. when I pick it up i see that it
is a check for fifty dollars,
and signed in
love

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