Saturday, March 11, 2017

The Sunday Poet: Kate Hanson Foster

Kate Hanson Foster

 Kate Hanson Foster's first book of poems, Mid Drift, was published by Loom Press and was selected by Massachusetts Center for the Book as a "Must Read" in 2011. She gained her MFA from Bennington College, and her poetry has appeared in Comstock Review, Harpur Palate, Poet Lore and elsewhere. She lives and writes in Groton, Massachusetts.

The First Gunshot

The first gunshot is not a gun—
It is a child playing with bubble wrap,
and small innocuous feet need the weight
of a whole body for a single, satisfying pop.
The first gunshot is a smile. A laugh. A fool
lit a firecracker in the hallway and someone
is going to ring their neck. There is no puzzle
in the echo—it is the muffled bone-snap
of a branch outside. The backfire of an old truck
turning the corner. The first gunshot is one
last pure breath, and the peace in the peak
of it. An unexpected flower in full vivacious
bloom. Not the start of something. A finger.
A trigger. A round. Not the first cave hollowing
within a body. Not a body hitting the floor
thinking how can I look dead enough—eyes
open or shut. Not run like a deer to the nearest
exit. Not resolving one’s body as a shield to cover
a lover, a friend, a child. The first gunshot
is a cloister of joy. A sweet stillness, so alive,
so subsistent after a burst of a big bright balloon.
No fear. No fight. No flight into action because
it’s not going to happen. Not to you. Not today.

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