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Wednesday, July 27, 2022


by Bill Aarnes

Davy Crockett called his flintlock Ol’ Betsy
The traffic has slowed to a stop 
on the West Side Highway,  
my Lyft now going nowhere. 
The gun lover driving the pickup 
stuck just a few feet ahead 
in the lane to the right 
must take pride that someone 
as ignorant as me has never bothered     
to learn by heart the brands    
of the five firearms shown 
on the decal on his back window 
above the words "My Family." 
I wonder if the guy goes home 
to a flesh-and-blood family, 
if they approve of the decal. 
I guess maybe his wife 
found it for him in a gun shop.              
Then I make up some names 
for the weapons: cute Little Lethal 
(or is it Pocket-Sized Bullpup?), 
older brother Son of a Gun, 
big sister Knock-em Dead, 
a less motherly than steely 
Femme Fatale, and the cock-sure 
Ready to Unload My Load. 
Car and pickup both inch ahead. 
I fear I’ve made up names   
he—and his family—would like. 

Bill Aarnes now lives in New York, where he is recovering from COVID.