Natchez Shrapnel

by Bill Yarrow

I was like a bullet shot from a university tower
toward three children crawling on a blanket
in a faraway park. I bounced around a bit and
landed in my life. We were all bullets shot from
the same gun, but you landed in Natchez and I
landed in D.C. and fragments of the rest of us can
be found anywhere there's an Adirondack chair.

Yes, we are bullets, but we've all been hit by something
resembling a trajectory. You most famously of all.
“Only a flesh wound, only a flesh wound!” you cry,
but what other kinds are there? None. No other kinds.
Each morning, I cradle my striated pain, but it's not an
external impairment. Foully accompanied by a cordite
stench, it emanates from the calibrated part of me.