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Catherine English

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Gun Laws


If I had a gun

I’d paint it in gold

leaf and put it in a glass

box frame

and hang it on

the wall

with a sign that says:

in emergency

break the glass,

if I had a gun


it would be a baby

browning and

it would fit

in the pocket of my grey

sweatshirt. I would use it when


out for a run. There are lots

of rabbits where I run.

I would shoot two and take them

home. I would chop

off their heads, I would skin

and gut them. I would put

them in a pot,



with garlic, onions, red wine

and cream

and I would leave


them to cook into

a big rich boozy

stew to be eaten with

green beans and butter.

I would make the

children eat. I would point

my baby browning at them

to be sure they finish

everything on their

plates, licked clean,

if I had a gun


I’d use

it as a spoon

for my chickpea and roast

pumpkin salad.

the orange chickpeas would balance

on the end of the silvery

barrel like tiny

gymnasts and I would

eat them with

my finger pressed

on the trigger




if I had  a gun


I would

use it as a pillow and hug

it to me

at three in the morning

when I wake

to the rattling

of the rubbish bins outside

the bedroom window.

it would be the neighbour’s dog.

I’d shoot it anyway


Catherine English completed the Whitireia Diploma in Creative Writing in 2014 and went on to enjoy the six-week Iowa Poetry Workshop over summer at the International Institute of Modern Letters. Her writing naturally falls into some sort of food-vat of sensory description, more vivid the hungrier she is. She endures a love affair with pomegranate salsa.


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