Michael Scott Cain
What I told the Man Who Asked If I Supported the War

I was on my way back in
from recess when Ellis Andrews,
face flushed, ran over to me.
Here is what he said:
You should have seen what happened
this morning. It was amazing, that's all,
amazing. I heard all the sound of hell
outside the kitchen, out in the back
yard, you know? I looked out there
and the ground was covered with birds,
hundreds of them, enough to make you think
the yard itself was alive and chirping.
They were chattering away at each other,
making such a racket it damn near
ripped the ears right off my head.
I ran up and got my shotgun,
crept out real careful, still
in my pajamas, laid the shotgun
flat on the ground and fired.
Forty-five birds dead in one shot.
The others? Damn, man, you never heard
a noise like they made
in your life. Birds screaming,
flapping their wings hard enough
to stir up a wind.
Baby birds hopping like crazy,
crashing into each other,
knocking each other flat
as they tried to take off.
I got four more on the rise.