A Gun Is Not A Father Or A Husband Or A Saint

By Crystal Ignatowski

My father has a gun. I don’t know
where it is. It must be somewhere.
Maybe in his dresser drawer.
Maybe underneath his bed.

We don’t speak of it. The gun is not
meant to kill. We don’t believe in that.
I repeat, We don’t believe in that.

Outside, frost butters my window.
The world cracks at a slow pace.
I guess this is a poem about guns,
but I’m only thinking of my dad:
away on business, in a suit,
on a plane, in a car, on a train,
with a briefcase full of things.

He sleeps in a hotel room.
He makes a human-sized indent
in the bed. My mother is at home alone
with a hidden gun. We’ve grown used to it.
I repeat, We’ve grown used to it.

A gun is not a father or a husband
or a saint. At night we always pray
for certain things. We check our pulses
when we wake. A loaded gun
collecting dust is just a heavy gun,
some say.

About the Author

Crystal Ignatowski’s poetry has been featured or is forthcoming in Contemporary Haibun Online, One Sentence Poems, Tuck Magazine, and WRIST. She lives and writes in Oregon.

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