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The Perfect Crime & Other Stories
You’d never guess her secret from her smile Reflection of her brand new wedding ring The child she would deliver in a while Would be the old man’s final taste of spring Of course his fam’ly promptly lawyered-up To stop this May-December love affair But still the groom, near eighty, raised his cup To toast his pregnant wife and unborn heir And while the bride and groom were at the Ball The father of the baby watched TV And waited for her whispered nightly call To tell him just how rich she thought they’d be In less than thirty days the old man died The pearly gates of earth had opened wide. *** His final will had left her set for life She had the child, a healthy baby boy Small price to pay for being someone’s wife For twenty-seven days of wedded joy But suddenly with money in his hand Her boyfriend felt the lure of living high With all the drugs and women he could stand And all the fancy toys that he could buy One night real late he called her from the jail “It’s just a simple DUI,” he said He ordered her to come and post his bail She jumped upon a PanAm flight instead And with her laughing baby on her knee She told him just how happy they would be *** An Aussie then, and safely out of reach She lived a life both leisurely and grand Her lovely airy cottage on the beach Was like a jewel set upon the sand Her son, a striking boy with searching mind And common sense he learned out on the street Had come up with a plan for all mankind To lessen crime and make fraud obsolete A little chip to slip beneath the skin Would gather current from the circling sun And with a person’s hist’ry loaded in Would globally position ev’ry one Thus led by voices, visions in the night His rise to power suddenly took flight. *** Her son, at eighty, had amassed his wealth Produced his sons and daughters on the way Had somehow thankfully maintained his health And still looked virile on his wedding day The bride was fair and lovely in her youth She flattered him and sipped her pink champagne He didn’t even want to hear the truth And lawyers could depart from whence they came A pastel summer turned to blazing fall Her slightest wish became his firm command He showered her with gifts both large and small The old man made no fuss and no demands One last “I love you” from his lips—and then The pearly gates of earth swung wide again. *** The newly-widowed bride devised a plan Left over from her dreams of yesterday She realized she didn’t need a man In fact, a man would just get in her way For years she thought she heard the music call Across the water, faint but always there The Nashville sound had reached her after all She knew good things belonged to those who dare Now suddenly her looks were number one The tan, the wax, the gym both day and night And when her dauntless workouts all were done You’d have to say she was a gorgeous sight So then with buns as tight as kettle drums She whispered, “Look out Nashville, here I come!” *** Those good ol’ boys could scarce believe their eyes And when she sang, the big ones anted-up Each knew she’d be the bright star in his skies If only he could proffer up enough She took to stage and screen just like a pro And all who watched her got into the fun She put on such an energetic show An artist and a dancer, all in one She couldn’t hide her feelings for the guy Who played a mean and magic lead guitar Whose dark and tender looks had caught her eye And led to stolen moments in his car His world had been his wife and tiny son But gossip spread and his world came undone *** The baby that she had in just a year Would never lack for money or for love While Mother was on tour she kept her near And for a baby, that was good enough But later, in the middle of the night She’d go to Mother’s bedroom down the hall And some new Uncle might turn on the light ‘Cause Mama had her face turned t’ward the wall Then after while her Mother couldn’t sing In fact, she often stayed in bed all day She said she’d lost her zest for ev’rything But told her daughter, “Run outside and play.” She said there was this pain inside her head And then they found her, overdosed and dead *** The little girl whose name was Laura Lee Was taken by her Mommy’s closest friend At eight, she was so used to running free And something deep rebelled when she was ten She’d found her Daddy’s name in Mother’s stuff So one spring night she showed up at his door He knew this day would come, and sure enough This day would change his life forever more Who would have ever thought they’d be a team She sat in clubs and watched him play guitar She must have shared somewhat her Mother’s dream Because she saw herself a singing star She waited for her break and all the while With skill she carefully designed her style *** So when she got the microphone in hand She belted out her Mother’s famous hits While deja vu had mesmerized the band Nostalgic melodies came from her lips She sang her heart out using Mama’s tricks Her audiences came from near and far There had to be a magic in the mix The singer and the man on lead guitar But after years of honky-tonks and smoke She sang her final customer’s request She said goodbye with tears deep in her throat And booked herself a pack trip in the West She needed time away to mend her soul Some quiet time to re-assess her goal *** How high a Rocky Mountain high could be Had stirred her city heart right to the core A hundred thousand acres she could see She’d never ever felt this clean before The cowboy who had guided her so well Had eyes the color of the Alpine Lakes Around the fire, the stories he could tell Could make her laugh until her tummy ached She soon forgot the nightclub and her Trust They simply didn’t matter any more She knew she was about to fall in love She didn’t care that he was fifty-four Her heart had told her he was all she’d need Now all she had to do was make him see *** He owned a little cabin in the trees With friendly wood smoke queuing to the sky He whipped up biscuits she could not believe So golden brown and puffing up so high This guy named Joe was just a simple man Believed you worked for ev’rything you got And back of ev’ry mortal was a Plan And stepped around the blue Forget-Me-Nots He said he was too old and couldn’t change He said he couldn’t offer her enough He made his living riding on the range But Laura Lee had found her one true love So she wore white and he wore Wrangler Jeans And both of them found out what true love means *** A decade later Laura’s father died But Joe had had the flu and couldn’t go And on the plane back East she cried and cried She missed her father; worse, she missed her Joe A windstorm outside Nashville caused a sway A flip, explosion, then a flaming glow And ev’ry one on board was lost that day Airline officials broke the news to Joe Joe walked out to the barn to clear his head He brushed her horse while tears rolled down his face He was a wealthy man with Laura dead But nothing in this world could take her place The pearly gates on earth had opened wide But Joe… just wanted Laura by his side *** The saddle then was where Joe spent his time He felt her gentle presence ev’ry place He tried to ease her mem’ry from his mind Then clouds would rearrange to form her face At night he laid in bed and tried to sleep But moonlight on her pillow made him cry And as the tears rolled slowly down his cheeks He couldn’t see a purpose for his life But then one spring he had a change of heart He drove his Chevy pickup into town He knew that it was time for him to start To have a couple drinks and mill around Indeed, he felt completely out of place A weathered cowboy called back into Grace *** She saw him first in shadows all alone Surmised that it was brandy in his glass And Joe who thought his heart had turned to stone Was real surprised to learn that he could laugh And dance…and dance—they danced the night away The heavy weight was lifted from his heart Though neither one had very much to say This lady shone and sparkled in the dark Her name was Ann and she’d just bought a ranch So they were almost neighbors they found out Now Joe had felt the tug of sweet romance And one by one she cast aside her doubts So love had bloomed for Joe twice in his life And he asked Ann if she would be his wife *** For ten good years they lived well side by side These two fine people, lovers, yes, and friends Through many sunny days and horseback rides In sickness and in health right to the end He buried her beneath the Aspen tree Where she could watch the sunrise ev’ry day Forget-Me-Nots were planted at her feet The slightest breeze would make the Aspen quake One morning Joe fixed biscuits in the pan He thought of Laura—that was Laura’s treat She said although he was a special man His biscuits were what swept her off her feet He saddled up the bay and checked the sky Then Joe the Cowboy... went for his last ride ***
This is my 'sonnet sequel'--first 'verse' is the same as last month. There were so many questions, I decided to do it this way. (I'm sure there are still questions). Let me know if it's too long... or too short.
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