It was only a Daisy,
the kind sold by coupon off the backs of comic books:
Gee Dad it’s a Daisy! He grins up at his father
from the package where—cradled like Jesus—lies the gun.
You can tell he's sincere and while the father's around
he merits the gun and carries it properly
never taking aim unless he seriously intends to shoot.
But one day dad goes to work and he can relax
so he sights in a squirrel, then panics as its gray heaving
slows at his feet: he pumps BB after BB through the eye,
each incomplete thud of the airgun
taking him further into his decision to end its suffering.