Armed Service
Christy Effinger

Kendra and I are on the deck, drinking Blue Moon and launching golf balls at raccoons with the slingshot her husband brought home from Iraq. Yesterday he shipped out again. The sky above us bleeds into night. Kendra calls a friend who works for the government to find out how to get rid of raccoons. The man says, "The only humane way is to trap them and then set them free in the woods." We laugh. A fat raccoon hunches across the grass, a masked bandit after the scraps of our barbeque. I take aim. I am defending the leftovers while the soldier is away. This is how I serve my country.