by Patricia L. Morin
This poem was originally published in Crime Montage by Patricia l. Morin (published by Top Publications, Dallas, TX).
The pizza was hot and the beer was cold. The score tied at halftime, the game on hold.
Jane walked in the door and put down her purse, pulled out a revolver, and screamed out a curse.
I jerked to attention, pushed the foot recliner down. She clicked back the hammer with barely a sound.
I held up my hands, locked on to her eyes. “For me,” I said, “This is quite a surprise.”
“Me too,” she said, her face growing mean. “You broke into my house. You’re watching my screen.”
She glanced behind me at the window ajar. “This whole thing,” she said, “is really bizarre.”
I sat lizard still, but glanced at the game, as she screamed in my ears, “You must be insane!
“You’re lucky my husband isn’t around. He’d have shot you and buried you deep underground.”
The pizza went cold and the beer became hot. Damn football and Oakland, my only weak spot.
The game came back on and a long pass was thrown. I knew the pretty lady lived all alone.
She’d gotten home early from her regular trip, and the gun started to look like my cosmic pink slip.
“Take it easy,” I said, gentle, and calm. “No need to be rash and raise an alarm.”
She cocked her head and studied my face. “I know you from somewhere, but where I can’t place.”
The crowd roared when the Raiders took the lead. She snapped her fingers, “You’re Martin Sneed!
The mailman,” she shouted and went for her phone. “You thought you knew when I wouldn’t be home!”
“I am,” I said, no time for a lie. Could we talk a moment?” I added a sigh.
She asked, “Why here? Why now? How can this be? All of this, just to watch my TV?”
I glanced at the game and was happy to find that the Raiders’ defense was holding the line.
“Not a thing did I touch,” I stared at the phone, “I just wanted to watch the playoffs alone.”
“I have six kids, three dogs, and a gnarly old cat. You can’t possibly know where all that is at.
The house is small and the kids play games, everything there drives me insane.
My friends are all loud and my wife’s mad at me, and I thought of this house and your big-screen TV.”
I spread out my hands in a nervous plea. “Can’t you forget about this and just let me be?”
I looked soulfully down at the floor, “I’ve never done anything like this before.”
She lowered the gun and raised her cell. That call would send me straight to hell.
Then she raised the gun and pointed it at my head. “If you ever do this again, you’re dead.”
I nodded as I thought of what I had done, but in the meantime, the Raiders had won!
I picked up my beer as she stared me down. “Well, thanks,” I said. “See you around.”
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