|
A novel in verse … and the writing thereof
Click on a line to comment

One More Bombshell

He still had

     one more bombshell to drop.

It’s in poor taste, perhaps,

     to use that phrase as metaphor

when I was dealing daily with

the shattered limbs and lives

wrecked by the things themselves, the most

               literal bombs.

But we did that back then. We joked about things

     that would make you weep.

 

So I say in a light if ironic tone,

     he had one more bombshell

     yet to drop.

More a grenade, I suppose, as he

     smuggled it into the dance hall

under his uniform

               jacket, and pulled the pin

on the dance floor.

 

There was something, he said, he

     hadn’t told me yet.

Oh?

Something about himself.

Right.

And his family.

Okay.

And the ranch.

I looked at him as we turned.

“Don’t tell me—please don’t tell me—

     that you made that up.”

“The ranch? No. But—you probably

     made an assumption, and I

let you make it.”

“Cory, I am dying here. What?”

“It’s not a cattle ranch.”

My eyes searched every corner of the room, as if to find in one

     the answer to this mystery.

“What other kind is there?”

“Sheep.”

Bang. But this grenade was first cousin to

     a clown pistol: when he shoots, out comes confetti,

     or a little flag that reads:

               Bang.

“Sheep?”

He nodded turning me again.

“You live on a sheep ranch?”

Again the nod.

“I didn’t know there was such a thing.”

“Now you do.”

“But you kept talking about

     roping calves!”

“Well, we do that too,

     helping neighbors out.”

We took a turn or two, while I

     mulled this over. But it was like

a hurdle I could not clear; I just walked

     round and round it, staring.

“Your family raises sheep?”

“Yup.”

“Well.”

And then I could not think of anything else

     to say.

Finally he bent and searched my face.

“Are you okay? What’s that look on your face?”

I turned my eyes upwards. “Sheepish?”

His turn to search the corners of the room,

     laughter lurking around his mouth,

as he sucked in breath between his teeth.

“I guess I deserved that.”

“Yup.”

Later he asked,

“Does that change anything?”

“Like—“

“Like, whether you’ll marry me.”

“Well. I’ll have to wear a paper bag

     over my head during the ceremony, but

aside from that—“

Even as he

     pretended to cuff me and I pretended

     to duck, nearly knocking over

     the nearest dancing couple, he regrouped, grabbed my hands,

               and asked,

“Does that mean you’ll marry me?”

“Nope,” I said.

     “But I might.”

page 18