The Bullet Hole
By Steve Carr
The bullet hole in the side of the long-unused fishing boat stared back at me throughout my youth. Mostly, though, I was able to avoid eye contact. The aluminum boat sat upside down in the far corner of the yard, visible from the patio. The covered patio faced east and was designed expertly to protect us from the evening elements. The roof sloped unintuitively up and out so as to provide an expanding, albeit unidirectional, view from our picnic table. Many of my happiest memories took place on that patio where family and friends met for watermelon, birthday cakes, and Sunday afternoon barbeques.
My bedroom window also faced east and was adorned with only the sheerest of curtains. I grew up rising with the sun to the chorus of meadowlarks outside my window. After a time, a magpie family took up residence among the willows and mountain ash at the edge of our property. Their decidedly raucous chatter would silence the meadowlarks and the almost as beautifully talented red-winged blackbirds, as we spat watermelon seeds from the patio to the lawn.