He held the trap to the parrot’s cage. The possum hissed. Our bird recoiled; he was mauled but alive. My father got the twenty-two then, held its dark metal eye to the cage. He said a prayer, I think, in his dress shirt and tie, and fired. We watched from the window. I closed my eyes. “Shoot him again!” my sister yelled. He did. I imagine it’s not easy to kill a thing on a Sunday morning; to go to church after and kneel on that carpeted altar and tell his God yes, I did it—but I had to.
Eddie Krzeminski received his MFA from Florida International University. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Grist, Split Lip, Sinking City, and elsewhere. He teaches writing classes in Southwest Florida.