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Shooting Clay Pigeons After the Wedding

Up the snow-slicked hill, the truck’s tracks behind
us like the drag of our twin wedding trains,

until through the something-blue windowpane
the valley floor opened, clear as my mind

just after I’d lifted your veil’s tulle blind.
The shotgun’s recoil shivered its dull pain,

and yet what pleasure taking my sure aim
as disk after gold clay disk flew and whined.

I held my breath and the gun like a man,
shattering the altar of cloud-laced sky.

I was doing it by instinct—that new
muscle near my heart. I wanted more than

anything to be a natural. I
wanted more than anything to be true.

This poem is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.

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