Killing Things and Wincing


Out picking weeds down on my knees
in the buffalo grass,
My dad and I we’d chores to do
And mine worth one dollar a task;

A bucket of Wandering Jew
sat ‘mongst the crunch of leaves,
and I, clutching my dollar coin;
felt a beastie fall from my head;

The prickly fanged automaton,
eight-fingered black dreadnought,
now perched above the top soil
as if to pounce at any spoil;

Too young to consider the act
I brought my gumboot down,
I stood my ground for just in case
the spider could have hissed and bit!

He hadn’t even the time to
tremble in my shadow,
nor an ego with which to grind
an axe before the blow;

Instead the bite came from behind;
my father’s leather hand,
He demanded the dollar back
and tears swelled up my eyes;

I’ll never kill an animal
nor ever beat a child,
And though Wandering Jew’s a weed
I think I’ll leave it be.


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