My father used empty tin cans, stacked one on the other,
starting with coffee and ending with tomato paste,
for target practice with his pellet gun, pumped exactly six
times before each shot. Ping––
one, two, three, four, five, six, Ping. Heinz flew
off the stack. He pumped the gun and aimed. Ping.
My lunch, Campbell’s chicken noodle, spun off the pyramid.
Ping. He handed me the gun. “Just close one eye and look
through the sight,” he said, one arm on my shoulder. Click.
Nothing pinged. “Try again. This time, just aim and hold
your breath.” I did. I squeezed the trigger. Ping.
Maxwell House wobbled and fell off the woodpile.
“That-a-girl,” he slapped my back. “Go stack them up again.”
© 2011 Kim King