Snoopy on the biplane

by Janet Bowdan

rides the air currents looking for a fight
Soon enough he’s looping, aiming,
my son reading all the noises, which
coincidentally are the noises he makes
with his armory of nerf guns, the ones
James Bond would conceal in a jacket
or the long rifle/shotgun/machine guns.
Snoopy’s fallen afoul of the Red Baron—
M’aidez! Snoopy yelps. Good grief,
I learned to say from Charlie Brown, who
sometimes wondered what it would be like
to have an ordinary dog. Good grief,
my son says, knowing he’s safe and the guns
he plays with aren’t really real. He’s explained
that to me when I say I don’t like guns,
and I could say sometimes people with real guns
don’t know those are play guns, and I could say
sometimes boys find real guns and think
they’re play guns, and sometimes people think
real guns mean they can do anything they want.
Mayday, I say. Or good grief. Or both.