The wet rupture on its rear pumped
with each jagged strain of its paws
as it reached them out together,
pulling underneath it dead leaves,
pulsing forward in pulls and drags.
Do you know the impulse that moved
in me to press my Red Ryder
BB gun to its eye and squeeze
the tense trigger until the thonk
of the metal in soft flesh stopped
its pulling short?
Its hide had been too thick to pierce
with the metal pellets, but I,
even at that age, knew the eye,
in all creatures, is the weakest
and softest part of the body.