This is the fifth draft of this poem.
I lied. It is the first draft.
I trust my instincts on writing poems.
I trust my editor more than my instincts on rewrites.
Spell check works against
my creative stream of consciousness poetic rhythm.
You may label this poem shitty, if you truly think it is shitty.
I am surprised spell check abstains from red-lining the word shitty.
I own a flattened fifty-eight caliber lead Minié bullet
fired from a Springfield Rifle during the Civil War.
It and twenty-seven of its brethren
attempted to pierce the heart of a sycamore tree near Petersburg.
The tree still stands. The man who fired the bullet
is long past dust in the grave.
I lied again. The bullet may have been fired
by an Enfield or Lorenz or other modern rifle of the Civil War era.
The great grandson of the man who fired the bullet
lives in Williamsport, Pennsylvania
and umpires during the little league world series
but never behind the plate where he’d have to call balls and strikes.
Spell check knows I made up the great grandson,
but does not correct it.