Monday, January 29, 2024

The Sheriff's Husband

  24-8     The Sheriff’s Husband

She found him in his study,

“Reading what, today?

“Still The Dawn of Human

Culture – quite a lot there,

going slowly.  Maybe the most

up to date book on these subjects.

“The latest on skeletons being 


  I wouldn’t

put it that way, but yes.”

“We still out of Africa,” Susan

smiled at him widely and sat

in his lap.”

“Yep.  They’re still working on

the dates, though.  We were sort 

of ‘us,’ physically about 300,000

years ago, but really ‘us’ from 

about 50,000 years ago.”

“Seems like we’re getting more

‘us’ all the time,” Susan smirked.

“Maybe so.  Discoveries are being

made with DNA research every year.”

“Speaking of which, how long does

a body have to be in the ground 

before all the flesh is gone?”

“what a strange question.  None 

of what I’m reading touches on 

that sort of thing.”

“Well, you appointed me Sheriff,

so it’s the sort of thing I ought 

to know.”

“Okay. It will depend on the 

temperature, how well the body

is buried, predators with access,

that sort of thing, but I’ll do some 

checking.  You got a body?”

“Actually, I just hired a deputy,

and I don’t want to seem as dumb

as I really am.”

“A deputy?  What are you paying

him?  I don’t pay you anything

so I’ll be fascinated by your answer.”

“He’s a she, much as in our

case, she’s a lot tougher than her


“Do you need a deputy?

“Actually, I need a friend.  I told

her there won’t be much pay – maybe

supplies as necessary.  She’s got a 

better SUV than I do, by the way.

Larry spun her around “I told you

to get something more up to date, but

you said you were attached to that old

Liberty.  Go ahead and get something

new.  I don’t like the idea of your 

breaking down in the middle of nowhere.”

“It won’t be that dire, especially if 

Lydia is my deputy.  But I’ll think 

some more about a newer Jeep.”

“Lydia?  That’s an old fashioned name.”

“She’s a bit old fashioned, in the 

Old Testament sense.”

“Whatever that means”

“She’s a bit old fashioned sort of like

those Cro-magnon you were telling

me about.”

“We still don’t know about them

in detail.  They did get out of hand

perhaps, killing way too many people.”

“You told me about their killing off

the Neanderthals”

“That’s just a theory, and maybe a 

crackpot theory at that.”

“Anyway, I like Lydia and she can

back me up if I need backup, etcetera.”

“She have any experience?”

“Ex-military.  I’ll find out more as time

goes on, but I can already tell she’s fearless.”

“As fearless as my wife?”

“Maybe not quite, but close.”

Later on Sue took the paperwork to

Lydia for her signature.

“Wait,” Lydia said “The date is wrong.

You’ve got me working for you the day

before we met.”

“Which is also the day before you shot

your Neanderthal in your back yard

while you were on duty.”


“Also, since you were so forward thinking, 

we need to set up a plot of land and call 

it Boot Hill.  Let’s put Boot Hill half way

on your property and halfway on mine.

Your Neanderthal will be the first member

of out Boot Hill.”

“The first?”

“Well, yeah,” Susan smirked.  “I don’t know

you all that well or how many people you

plan to kill.”

“I don’t want to kill anyone.  I wouldn’t have

killed the Neanderthal if he hadn’t attacked me.”

“That’s good to hear,” Susan said, sticking out

her right hand, “Welcome aboard.”

Frontier Justice

  24-7 Frontier Justice

“Joseph and Lydia Campbell.

“That’s us.  She’s twenty-eight.

We’ve only been married a month.”

“How old are you, sir?

“Don’t know what that has to do

with anything, but I’m forty-two.”

“This is sounding more and more 

like your wife changed her mind.”

“After just one Month?”

“Back in the Corps I met plenty

of women, men, too, who would

do it in a lot less time than that.”

He sighed and just then they heard

a shot.  “That might be her now,”

Susan said.

And they ran around back,

Trooper leading.

“Lydia!”  Joe exclaimed

in shock.

Lydia whirled as they came up, a three-

fifty-seven in one hand.  Lying on

the ground in front of her was a man

in shabby jeans, breathing his last.

She looked over at Joe and then

at Sue, “who’s this,” she asked,

pointing her gun at Sue.  “The 

        Sheriff, Hon.  Let me take that 

        gun now -- if you’re done with it.”

“Oh, I’m done all right.  He caught

me off guard and was planning to 

take me off, but he didn’t want to

leave here with just me; so he was

loading his truck, real careful like.

But when you came back I got

my own gun and shot the son of

a bitch”

“So we see,” Sue said, perplexed.

“So are you going to arrest me,” 

Lydia asked, still waving her gun?

Sue gulped, “don’t seem like that

would be the right thing to do,

does it?”  Joe and Lydia 

shook their heads.  

“Do you know who he was,” 

Susan asked Lydia?  

“Said he was from

Tennessee, just passing through

when he saw something he liked.

“Meaning you,” Susan asked?

“Meaning me.  But I’m already 

married to Joe and not tired of him

after just one month so I shot him.”

“Don’t blame you a bit for that,

Sue said.  “Do either of you have 

any plan for what to do with his 

        body and car?”

“There’s a gorge on my property. 

I was just looking at yesterday, I could 

dig around in that and cover him right


And his car, Sue asked?  

“How about I drive it to

Phoenix, leave it at the airport and 

Lydia follows and brings me back?”

“Lots of cameras at the airport,” Sue


“Yeah, okay.  We’ll leave it near the

airport with the keys in the ignition”

“That should work,” Sue said,

thoughtfully.  The town Mayor will

appreciate you-all taking care

of this mess and not costing him

anything from dealing with 

        this piece of shit.”

Joseph and Lydia nodded enthusiastically.

“I guess I don’t need to tell you we need

to keep this just amongst ourselves.”

Joseph and Lydia nodded once again

and with just as much enthusiasm.

Hot Pursuit

  24-6 Hot Pursuit

Susan strapped on her Taurus 605

and said, “let’s just take our 

hot-pursuit Jeep and see where

he goes.”  Trooper was up in

An instant, wagging his tail.

They climbed into the old Jeep

Liberty and followed the dust.

The man took a side road and

eventually stopped in front

of a well-kept house.  He

walked to his front door 

and stood looking back

at Susan and Trooper as

they got out of their Jeep

and followed him.  He scowled,

“You won’t help me; so what 

do you want?”  

“We didn’t finish

quite right.  I need your wife’s

name and yours too in case 

something happens in the future

to where I need those things.”

“Like what,” he snapped back

with belligerence?”

“Like if 

she were to turn up dead and 

found lying in your back forty.”

He smirked, “you don’t mince

words, do you?”

“I try not to.”

Ghost Town Sheriff

 [Not exactly poems, 24-5, 24-6, 24-7, and 24-8 are a dream sequence that got out of hand]

24-5      Ghost-town Sheriff                     

“Are you the Sheriff, ma’am?”

“As much as anyone, I guess.

Have you got a problem?”

“And is that your police dog?”

“That’s him, Trooper.  Can’t

do all the tricks a shepherd

can but he can track and fight.

Listens to me most of the time, too

Which is a big plus; so what’s

your problem?”

“Can’t find my wife.”

“Where was she supposed to be?”

“At home, of course, but I got

home just now and she wasn’t

there.  Her car was gone as well.”

“Could she have gone to the store?”

“What store?  I do all the shopping.”

“That’s creepy.”

“She does other things,

“Don’t like to shop.”

“This wife of yours, is she a woman?

“Of course.  I have to find her.”  

“Well you could hire someone

private.  Might have to go

to Phoenix for that.  I’d try

Prescott first.”

“Why couldn’t you

do that?”

“Well, my jurisdiction is

this town and its environs, meaning

all the small farms and houses round

about.  Town council would fire me

right quick if I took to traipsing to 

Hell and gone after your wife.”

He gave her a hard look.  Trooper

growled and the man strode

angrily away.  

“Anything I can actually

help you with?” She called after him, 

but he didn’t answer.  “Guess not.” They

watched him walk down the street 

to a Ford Ranger.  “We didn’t get

his name or his wife’s either.  We’re

already doing a bad job and it’s not

quite noon.”

Trooper groaned and lay back down.

A Surly Old Man

Perhaps it was Cro-Magnon 

Influence in my complicated

DNA impelling me against

Monsters in China stopping

My peers at a line – a 

Truce was signed, a “stay

here” line.  Far to the 

South I heard, “We don’t

Need you up there,” but

That is where I want

To be.”  The sergeant

Shrugged at my naivete,

My new friends shrugged

As well so I settled in.

Years later the wounds

I carry weren’t earned

In war.  No monster 

Struck me down, and the

Citizenry leaves me be as

They did my Cro-Magnon

Forbears as days fade.

Friday, January 26, 2024


There were two, one

Stacked upon the other

Which I carried with

One hand, the other 

Needing the walking

Stick to keep us

Upright, and the cakes

From smearing the dirt

Path with white frosting.

It isn’t so bad being old.

No one will wonder if I fall,

If the cakes are lost

On this strange trail no one

Else seems interested in.

Out of breath I stop

And lean my stick

Against a tree.

Jessica lies down next to me

And licks the frosting from a cake.

I rescue the other for myself.

No one wonders or complains.

A Little Rain

Through the bathroom window

I saw it was raining again;

Not hard, probably, and in the

Dream I recalled a need

To poison all the bad guys.

No need for me to do it literally.

I had a clever girl for that.

I’ve known a lot of those

Over the years, evolution

Doing that neatly round about.

This one was not precise;

So the dream was a comedy.

She kept forgetting who 

Was left, and laughing.

No one had actually

Started to die.  We

Needed to flee, but she

Smiled on, not worrying,

Doing her humorous job.

Then the scene changed

Sparing me a grisly end.

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Losing her again

        She is lost again

Swirling just out of 

Memory’s reach – 

The reality of her

Slips from her

Favorite tree to 

Fall gently down.  

I reach out as far

As I’m able and other

Thoughts approach,

Regrets – nothing

From her.  Across

The street a young

Man starts his 

Thunderous car. She

Would not have 

Returned to sleep.  I see

Less well so each

Step is a challenge as

I turn toward the rest

Of the years without her.

Being bipedal while old


When I came down

Out of the trees

I was on my way

Back from Korea 

On a ship filled 

With vomiting Marines.

Everyone did it:

Walked on two legs,

So I did as well,

But the older I got

The more I longed

For the trees –

Not those in my 

Back yard with weak

Limbs that grow too

Large to hold onto,

But those easily grasped

In the forest I 

Dream of still:

When we were young

And full of wild ways.