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Readers’ Choice (A Man with a Gun): Why She Compulsively Smiles and Waves at Police
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Readers’ Choice (A Man with a Gun): Why She Compulsively Smiles and Waves at Police

Why She Compulsively Smiles And Waves At Police

by Michele Bombardier

       Come dinnertime, she’d listen for the thud – or screech of his front
     wheel if he made the driveway. She’d read the velocity of the door
   slam, gauge his footsteps for surety or stagger, then brace herself. Her 
   mother insisted she meet him at the door. He’d hang his coat on the 
  hook, pull his gun from his belt, slap it on the bottom stair, sometimes 
 pull another gun from the black strap of his ankle holster. He’d point
to her, jerk his head up,  and                  she knew 
      what to do. Scoop the gun            between
         her hands, carry it up the      stairs
          like an injured bird. Some-            
      times it was warm. She’d 
     uncup it onto his bureau, 
   back away as if it might 
 waken. Then run down-s
tairs to bring him a cold 
beer. She learned early. 
The safest place is al-
ways on the good side.

Michele Bombardier is a Seattle-based poet, author, teacher, and the founder of Fishplate Poetry.

Our Readers said:

• While the gun doesn’t go off “on screen” during the story, I appreciated this concrete poem’s portrayal of current issues – it is simple, harsh, and moving.
• There was so much unsaid in this piece but you knew exactly what it meant thanks to the title which was so much part of the piece.
• I felt that the author had very cleverly written an understated piece in which, nevertheless, one felt there was so much information.


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