“A Farmer Drops His Pitchfork & Picks Up an AK-47”

by Joshua Hilderbrand

This was the first time
but not the last time
I begged a farmer
to go home with his pitchfork
in hand son in the front
wife in the back
with the goats. I begged him to take
wife & son to his father’s house
tuck them in for the night, promise
them tomorrow, like I promised
my mother I would come back.

When I was 12 years old
I practiced repeatedly
in the woods behind my house.
I ran through the bushes
fighting Russian soldiers,
making the sound of a gun
with my mouth
shouting at the other kids
you’re dead, I got you, you’re dead!
They fell to the ground and
couldn’t move until everyone
agreed the war was over.
We just shot at anyone holding a rifle.
We never thought of acting like farmers.