Future Reflections Winter 1994, Vol. 13 No. 1


by Nancy Scott

I am on my back steps,
my squirt gun ready,
but I need something good to shoot.
I already shot the house.
The water thuds if I get close,
but that's no fun anymore.

I hear the hiss of Mom's iron
in the pantry. I
could shoot her, but not really.
There's a door for the water to hit
so I could shoot her in my head.
I aim at the spitting iron.

I fire. The water sisses
with the force of my wishing.
Buzz against the screen
so I know its going where I want.
Buzz. Siss. Pull. Feel
the water going from the gun.
Siss. Buzz.
"Stop that."
What? That's not supposed to happen.
Mom must be hearing me think.
I know she can do that sometimes.
"There's water all over the floor."
No. There's a door there.

I'm six and I'm not stupid.
"You're shooting through the screen.
Water goes through the door."
That can't be. Water is big.
It stays in one place, not like air 
and noise. I tell her.

Mom sighs from mad to show-and-tell;
puts my left hand inside, my right
with the gun out and says "shoot." 
Pull. Buzz. Wet against my inside hand.
"Yes. Come look." She puts
my right hand in the puddle on the floor.

I could have shot her after all.
How far wouldwater go through the door?
How high could I make it reach?
Good thing she isn't hearing me think.
Maybe if I reach real high 
No, I'll try for the tree.