I recently found those places in my youth

Where I knew pain, anger, terror and violence

That I had to forget decades ago and just

March on with my hopes of a kinder, gentler world.

I’m still on the lookout for Fairy Dust and Miracles!

I find them still in stray animals, small children,

The occasional adult with a sensitive heart.

We can get what we need, if we pay attention.

And despite what my teachers said about me

I paid a lot of attention!

My Big Brother Bill played alternate roles of

Tormentor and Protector in my early years.

He hated having to protect me and he never ever failed.

Our father came for visits, took us to the shooting range

For target practice with his friend and son.

My Dad taught me to plant my feet for steadiness;

To line up the site with my target;

To take a deep breath, exhaling slowly as I squeeze the trigger.

I still do.

Melanie Alcorn Wood

16 Nov. 2014

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