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The Gunslinger Poet

The Gunslinger Poet

Like most women, I have many facets of my personality which may seem to contradict but in reality its just how my brain works. 

I love to be challenged. I have many interests and talents. I am an artist. I paint. Cook. I also love to write. (Did I mention my teen daughter is already a published novelist?)


 One thing I am able to do and always have been because apparently, I am a walking thesaurus, is write poetry.


That's right: poetry.


How does shooting fit with poetry? Well on first glance--it doesn’t. But if you have ever done either you know there is more to both than just pointing a gun or pounding on a keyboard. They both require thinking, problem-solving abilities, and when either is done correctly they can reveal profound insights into the mind and the heart of the author and competitor…good and not so good. Strengths and weaknesses.


For my daughters’ 8th grade graduation her principal wanted the parents of the students graduating to stand up and say a little something about their child. Don’t worry, our daughters' small school only had 3 in her graduating class so the time was not an issue.


As parents, we were asked to speak but Instead of winging it I decided to write a poem, something up until that time, my family never knew I could do.


On Graduation night all us parents were very well prepared but somehow it was the mom’s who did 98% of the talking while the dads stood proudly next to their wives and student on the stage, feeling like they had just dodged the "speaking in public” bullet.


My husband was no exception, yet he would the only father crying on that stage as I read the poem I had penned for our daughter.


I guess we all have talents we assume everyone has. Just like I assumed I would be able to master shooting in a month, I soon realized doing what the masters do takes effort and time…and maybe a bit of hidden talent not everybody else has.



I wrote this poem in 20 minutes.



With her hand on her hip, 

and a pout on her lip

and her hair all a-fuzz on her head,

The little girl stood, 

as a warrior would,

Defending her space on the bed!


"I will not sleep!" 

came that yell from so deep

as her blue eyes continued to stare.

As her mother I knew

that her passion was true

Enter to battle--if I dare.


So the battle was on!

our wills equal sized

though she stood only 2 feet tall.

She heeded no threat

Showing no signs of fret

She was preparing to win... give it all


As a parent we learn

at times to be stern

at others to show sympathy.

But this test to demand: 

"On this bed I will stand!"

Showed this mom... she was stronger than me.


"She must not win!"

I said from within,

I broadened my stance for the fight.

As our eyes locked with heat

our tempers did meet

willing to stand our grounds...all night!


Inside I was drawn 

to this little girls' brawn

but I knew my patience was thin.

I was tired, you see

I needed to sleep

I had a tempest brewing within.


"I must win at all cost,

or all fights will be lost

to this child who now holds the stage!

She’s as stubborn as me,

I now clearly see

I am over my head with this Paige!"


As I paused in dismay

I recall to this day

Her eyes so stern and so fair.

Yet her quivering lip

is what caused me to quip

perhaps there is more to this dare.


Then from above

our Lord with His love

spoke so sternly to this mothers’ heart:

"She’s scared, can't you see?

She’s brave as can be

but your strength will pull you apart.


"Show her My love,

Be sweet as a dove

as I have shone it to you.

Your strength gets you far,

but at what cost, with what scar?

Hug her and I’ll make her anew."


The battle was won.

The Lord had stepped in;

I reached for my child to embrace.

She burst into tears

and all of our fears

of this battle royale were erased.


I love you, my Paige 

And I stand on this stage

to tell the whole world it is so.

But as you leave the 8th grade

a great mark you have made

there is something else you must know.


Your father and I 

we have watched you grow up

through so many good stages of life.

From that fight on the bed

now 9th grade is ahead!?!


Someday... you'll be that bride in white.


Your strength to this day

It runs deep, it runs true

your compassion is what we all see.

The Lord's set you apart

And you’ve stolen all of our hearts.


I can't wait to meet the woman you’ll be.

Mary-Grace McMahon
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Mary-Grace is an active, God-fearing mom of two teenagers, cop's wife, competitive pistol shooter (IDPA & USPSA), NRA certified instructor, gourmet cook, painter, poet. Fierce patriot of the USA and staunch defender of the first and second amendments.

Mary-Grace is sponsored by Dr. Frank Zheng, Optometry, Laser-Ammo USA, TUFF Products, GAT Marketing, Speedloaderz, Napa County DSA, Western Ammo, and Shooting for Glory.

Category: Life Beyond The Gun