Alan Hill


Target Practice

At the shooting gallery
I talked my son through the history of it all.
Of course, with this sort of game, you can’t really win.
It isn’t about that.
It’s like this.
First it was 22 rifles, then later came pellets.
Now it is light.
Still, there are ducks, owls, the
fat inviting butt of a redneck piano player
a skunk, raccoon, all manner of popular wildlife
that flip, twirl, shimmy with embarrassment at being shot
that it has come to this, they have ended up this way.
This is the way to kill. This bloodless fakery—
no consequences, conviction, guilt. But we are still killing.
Isn’t that something.

ALAN HILL is the Poet Laureate of the small city of New Westminster in British Columbia, Canada. He is the father of two small children and lives in a small wooden house among a mutating chaos of old books and records.