Madonna of the Crosshairs

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic


Submitted: March 24, 2018

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Submitted: March 24, 2018



Madonna Of The Crosshairs

By Alexander Kern

Copyright, September 1999


You leave behind your rude stigmata,

Your profane hollow point,

In the soft throat of divine deer.

My Gauge Angel, my daughter

Destroyer - what gene begat

Such violence in you? Such

Willingness to blast a bullet

Into innocent flesh, and yet,

On Sunday, writhe and twist

With sacred spirit in your

Holy Roller shrine. Camouflage 

Exchanged for saintly silks

And prudent necklines. Shouting

In the Lord, spastic, to the floor.

Beatified, Delivered, Saved and Sure.

Every young man's social target.

I wonder, do you stroke your

Soybean farmer lover like a trigger?

Your father aimed his rifle at

My heart, ordering me to leave you.

I escaped, my heart hurting, hunting.

In your eye I read the red rubric

Of Hunters, the inherited passport

From holiness to savagery.

Tenant of Pentecost, Deliverer

Of Straight A's, ribbons, prizes

And pennants for excellence:

In all areas you excel, enamel-eyed

Artemis, stalking the Southern woodlands,

Staining your thoughts with bloodlust.

Amidst the creeper vine, the kudzu,

The verdant brocade of pines, beneath

An annunciation of bruised clouds,

The deer emits his crisis sounds.

Already you picture his mighty rack

Ornamenting the trophy wall.

Let every rock and leaf and vine,

Squirrel and snake and bug and bird,

Bear witness to your sacramental slaughter.

For no one watched or worried when

They took you from me, daughter.

Bear witness to the fact; I am your mother.

Your father boasts you never miss,

Your scope is true, no bright percussion

Of unnecessary shots tattoos the air.

That duplicitous Southern Psyche!

I've seen you gut and skin like a trapper

And those same hands bless suffering

Sweet children. We are but related dust,

My Paradox. Battling the rigors of mortality.

Angelus, Angelus, what blessed news have you for us?

The Holy hunts for us 'til terminus.

In your primal purlieu you hunt game, 

I hunt you, daughter, full-loaded heart in my hands.

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