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Billy
by Kristen Sharer


When Billy was 6
One fine Easter day,
He received a gift
With which he could play.

It was a sweet little bunny
With hair to the floor.
What could have happened
When it was found dead by the door?

Accidental, they said.
Billy's just a child.
He just played too rough.
He got a little bit wild.

When Billy was 10
At a neighbor's house,
He poured some bleach
On a friendly pet mouse.

Boys will be boys
Is what they said.
Be careful, they added
As they patted his head.

When Billy turned 12
They found some deep cuts
On the face and the neck
Of the sweet family mutt.

No harm was done.
The dog's not hurt bad.
He didn't mean to do it.
He truly feels sad.

When Billy was 16,
He took a gun to school.
He fired upon them
While calling them fools.

When Billy was finished
Having his fun,
He smiled at his carnage
And lay down his gun.

The town went on weeping
All through the trial.
He showed no remorse.
He showed not a smile.

What happened, they asked,
To a boy so fine?
How could it be
He showed not a sign.

What about me?
Said the ghost of the long dead mouse?
And I the rabbit
Who was found dead in his house?

And the elderly dog
With scars that still showed
Softly whined and wondered,
HOW DIDN'T THEY KNOW?

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