Tag Archives: gun

NEIGHBORS

NEIGHBORS

There is something odd about my neighbor,

I guess she’s under some kind of stress.

She stares without seeing,

And plays with the buttons on her dress.

She avoids attention, even light from the sun,

And I would swear she’s packing a gun.

She sits across the aisle from me,

Trying to ignore the things she sees.

A man stands at a corner waiting for our bus,

He is tired, hungry, defeated, just like us.

After days of searching , there’s still no work,

He’s just a fraction away from going berserk.

How can he survive if he’s living on pride?

Will he find a place to live safely outside?

A group of teens climbs aboard, boisterous and loud,

I wonder if one will escape the tenement and return rich and proud.

They threaten the homeless man.

He might have money stashed in a can.

They threaten the woman as she pretends to read,

Telling her they want her to meet their needs.

They laugh and suggest they could have fun,

Not noticing her hand touching her gun.

They turn their attention finally to me.

I was watching and waiting, it had to be.

Survival of the fittest, or the ones with most greed,

Somebody’s angels, or someone’s bad seed.

There is little to distinguish between me and my brother,

Hell will claim one, and heaven will get the other.

July 21, 2017

The Man With the Iron Fists (Part 2)

Annie Oakely, from Stacy Co. Cabinet Card, cro...

Image via Wikipedia

The Man With the Iron Fists (Part 2)

The outlaws
sent for their friends,

Instead of
two or three,

What an advantage
there’d be,

The cards
would really be stacked with ten,

 

Grace didn’t
have long to build her nest,

The word was
already out,

The outlaws
were out and about,

Ready to claim
this part of the west,

 

She tried to
stop him, she wanted to insist,

She knew
they were coming back,

The town
they would attack,

But they
really wanted the man with the iron fists,

 

He would be
outgunned and outmanned,

But he was rough
and tough,

And definitely
brave enough,

Why he was
alone Grace still didn’t understand,

 

No help was
offered from the men of the town,

They boarded
up their stores,

Went home
and locked their doors,

Those brave
men just didn’t want to be around,

 

Their cooperation
was definitely not the best,

But one
thing they did do,

Afraid of
what might ensue,

They pinned
a marshal’s badge upon his chest,

 

“Uh, sir,” I
asked, couldn’t I help a lot?”

“Nope,” he
answered with a frown,

“I don’t
want you in this town,

It’s gonna
get dangerous after the first shot,”

 

I didn’t
tell him that I had talked to Grace,

We didn’t
want to hurt his pride,

With him we
just didn’t confide,

Because up our
sleeves we each held an ace,

 

Now I might
not quite be a man,

But I can
shoot a rabbit,

At fifty
yards it’s now a habit,

So holding
my own with a rifle, I can,

 

Now I’m not going
to brag about my skills,

Because I’m
not the best,

In this
whole wide west,

It’s my aunt
who provides the shooting thrills,

 

She’d go
hunting when we needed to eat,

Always got
something on her first try,

Always
claimed, “Shot in the eye,”

Because she
never wanted to waste good meat,

 

Since she
was considered just a pretty girl,

There was no
need to claim,

She was “Annie
Oakley” of the plain,

And have the
men’s mustaches all atwirl,

 

“Uh, Grace,
do you want me to drive them to you?”

She nodded,
which explained a lot,

She was, of
course, the best shot,

She could take
care of the whole stinkin’ crew,

 

There was
one problem, she was careful to insist,

“Be as
careful as you can,

Just don’t
hit my man,

Shoot the others
but not the man with the iron fists,”

 

In the
middle of the day he walked out in the heat,

As brave as
brave can be,

What
appeared for anyone to see,

Was one
cowboy challenging death upon the street,

 

Those cowardly
ten were silently slipping around,

Finding
vantage places,

Where they
could hide their faces,

And still have
a good view of the town,

 

What those
ornery varmints didn’t comprehend,

Two pairs of
eyes were ready,

As we held
our rifles steady,

Their way of
life was coming to an end,

 

The man with
the notches on his gun,

Wanted to
show he was brave,

He began to
rant and rave,

Knowing his
back was to the sun,

 

Grace could
see the man’s devious plan,

Her husband
would be surprised,

With the sun
in his eyes,

He’d never
see the gun in the second man’s hand,

 

Mister notches
on his gun danced around with glee,

When he
heard a rifle shot,

But he didn’t
dance a lot,

Before the
man with the iron fists fired three,

 

To keep the
record straight so everybody knows,

Grace shot
the first bushwhacker,

And I shot
another attacker,

Three down
and seven bad guys to go,

 

Now in all
the confusion the man with the scar,

Had stepped
out of the alley,

And tried to
get his men to rally,

He saw my movement but I didn’t miss him by
far,

 

Four
scoundrels at the marshal directly raced,

Some of his
shots went astray,

But it didn’t
matter anyway,

For the
rifle firing behind him belonged to Grace,

 

Three more
scalawags were still looking for trouble,

I was hidden
the best I could be,

I looked up
to see three rifles pointed at me,

“Hey,
Marshal, I don’t want to burst your bubble,”

 

“But I think
it’s time to drop your gun,

This could
be the end,

Of your
little friend,

The battle’s
over, this time I’ve won!”

 

The marshal
started over, two rifles aimed at his chest,

He glared at
me and said, “I told you one time,

To stay away
and you took my dime,”

“And you
other three are under arrest!”

 

The man with
the scar started to grin,

“I’ve got
the gun,

There’s no place
for you to run,

Why don’t
you just give in?”

 

Three shots
rang out and dropped the outlaws cold,

“You didn’t
have to shoot,

These ornery
galoots,

I think I
had everything under control,”

 

Now the
marshal’s fame spread throughout the land,

Iron Fists
became a fearsome name,

As the west
he gradually began to tame,

But there’s
one thing I want you to understand,

 

He was not
completely happy with Aunt Grace,

Although without
her he might be dead,

She should
have stayed home instead,

As he said, “A
woman should know her place,”

 

“Uh, yes,
Grace, I’ll tell everyone the story the best I can,

Uh, yes ma’am,
if you insist,

The credit
will all go to Iron Fists,

I’ll never
say that it was the woman behind the man,”

 

He’s my
uncle and I’m as proud as I can be,

He sits high
upon his horse,

Such a manly
image of course,

And as brave
a man as you’ll ever see,

 

Somewhere
out west a story still exists,

Of a marshal
rough and tough,

But with the
schoolmarm gentle enough,

That’s the
legend of the Man With the Iron Fists.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Me, Love, Eva, and One Identified Male

Special Response Team of the US Mint Police

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Eva said she would be waiting if I came by her house,

She was there on the porch, wearing jeans and a blouse,

Looking casual with her pants tucked into her boots,

Over one shoulder was draped her swimming suit,

Although I wondered about that, I still had my smirk,

I was excited and impatient, just off of work,

We had talked about swimming at our last dance,

What we would do also if we got the chance,

Our bodies said a thousand things without talking,

As we floated across the floor, barely walking,

I felt that sexual itch as she moved with sinuous grace,

Although my steps quickened, Eva kept up with my pace,

I did not want the dance to stop, or to ever let her go,

But she returned to her partner, despite her fevered glow,

If only she had been with me we’d never have to part,

She was a breath of fresh air, into my lonely heart,

She bumped into me once as she went to fix her hair,

And in my pocket I discovered a note she had placed there,

Eva’s phone number, her address, a place we could meet,

All the important things so we could later greet,

When I called we soon became fast friends,

We were soul-mates, sharing even the latest trends,

We had much in common, but I wondered about her man,

“I can’t tell him yet,” she said, “Please try to understand,

I want to be with you,” she paused, “but he’ll never set me free,

I’m not sure just what he’ll do, but he’ll never let you have me,”

Such ominous words Eva said and then cried that night,

But fearing to love is like fearing to breathe, “I’m ready to fight,

You are the one I want,” I said hoarsely, “But tonight,

I want to love you, kiss you, and make you truly mine,”

“See me tomorrow,” she said, “when you first get off work,

I know a place we can be alone, and no one else can lurk,”

We would talk by the river, with the moon as our guard,

Lock up our common sense, and then our clothes discard,

Turn our imaginations loose and let our love run free,

We would love until the morrow, under the tall oak tree,

Now I could see her waiting but pacing back and forth,

I was coming from the south but she kept glancing north,

In front of her yard a car came to a slow stop,

She stared but there was no time to move or drop,

I saw a gun appear and then the sudden flash,

A window shattered, another one suddenly crashed,

I couldn’t just wait until the man had emptied his gun,

Love sparks courage, to me the war had just begun,

I aimed my car, pushed the pedal, and felt a satisfying crash,

I was going for the gun but into me someone did smash,

The police arrived a little too late for this important date,

Quickly I was on the ground, handcuffed, ready for my fate,

A SWAT team had been two streets over, finishing up a drug raid,

They were not in a mood to listen, their minds already made,

I was out of control, according to what the police had seen,

Then Eva arrived and saw me, and tried to explain the scene,

The three of us were taken downtown to sort out this mess,

Trying to determine who was wrong, at first was anybody’s guess,

Gradually reports came in from detectives who verified her tale,

Finally I was out, but also released was one identified male,

In the custody of his lawyer, who was as crooked as a dog’s hind leg,

The lawyer knew judges and got what he wanted without having to beg,

But I had been touched by love, for me it was a permanent bond,

I went back to Eva’s house, wanting her, needing her to respond,

I knocked once, twice, but she refused to open the door,

“I love you, I truly do,” she said loudly, “but I think I love him more,

I know he’s a little misguided, but he loves me just the same,

He wouldn’t have missed if he didn’t love me, to him it’s just a game.”

Confused and disheartened, I could no longer be part of this strife,

I was still in love with Eva, but I had to get on with my life,

Part of my heart belongs to her, but I’m alive to tell this tale,

The two of us couldn’t fit in her heart, me and one identified male.

Sam

Sam

Sometimes life happens.  I found out that some people and events came into my life, changed my perspectives, and then were gone. I often wondered if they were missed opportunities that God had given me, or were they just learning tools to teach me about life?  In either case the time for learning was there, and I did nothing to help the situation.

I did not help Sam, his mother, or his brother.  On the other hand, I survived,  and the memory of Sam will always be there. For that reason I will continue to campaign against abuse against others.

During my senior year of college my roommates moved from our shared apartment one by one, and I was looking for new roommates or looking for somewhere affordable to live.  During that time I often had free time to observe the people around me.  I would idly wonder about their lives, trying to surmise their places in the work place and in the world.

One person that caught my interest was a woman who lived across the hallway.The lady looked older than she was.  She was matronly, had graying hair, and shuffled as she walked.  She lived in an apartment with her 17 year old son.  Often she was dressed up and wore a lot of make-up.  I didn’t realize that make-up covered numerous bumps and bruises.

I thought she might be retired but she wasn’t.  In addition to taking care of her son, she worked full time at Denny‘s. When I was not in class, I saw her scurrying from her apartment and back again. I thought it was peculiar that she left her apartment frequently, especially when she was off work.  I wondered if she went to the store or if she was on some other mission but usually she would return empty handed.  Daily, she left and returned. I was curious about her comings and goings but never asked why. It wasn‘t my business.

I didn’t know much about her or her son, not even their names. But one day during a chance encounter, I mentioned I was looking for another place to live because my roommates were leaving and I had one more year of college.  Her face brightened as she said, “I have a house just a block away.  My other son lives there. You could rent there.  I’d rent a room to you for less than half of what you’re paying for this apartment.”

The offer was tempting and I decided to check it out. The next day, I walked down the street to see what the house looked like.  The house was in terrible condition.  The outside paint was chipped and peeling, the grass was tall and full of weeds, and the windows had torn screens.  But a new heavy duty red pickup sat in the driveway, contrasting with the house.

I knocked and a young man with a crew cut answered the door.     He scowled and then asked, “What do you want?”  I said, “Your mom said I could rent a room here.”  “Come on in,” he said, “and look around.  You can find a room.”

I was left alone to look about the house.  Clothes and newspapers were stacked along the hallway.  Two of the bedrooms were dusty and full of furniture, more clothes and newspapers.  I found another bedroom and chose it.
Despite my misgivings, I decided to take the offer. “After all, I could save money while I go to school,“ I reasoned.“ It’ll only be for six months.”

I didn’t see Sam very often. His work day and my college classes were not conducive for much hanging out together.  But, over the course of time, I began to see different sides of Sam.  He wanted everybody to see him as being special.  He wanted his friends and strangers to notice his physique.

Sam’s upper body was muscular, slim and chiseled, v-shaped, and admired by other body builders.  He worked out regularly, trying to add additional bulk.  In addition to weight-lifting, Sam worked at a job requiring strength and endurance.  Ten to twelve hours a day he worked as a journeyman framer. He had a reputation of being one of the most industrious workers, and he earned top wages.

In spite of all Sam had going for him, Sam was very opinionated, had a quick temper, and had a penchant for violence.  In addition to having an opinion, Sam’s opinion was always right.  People who differed with him were deemed to be on the attack and he shouted them down, cursed, or threatened them with physical violence.  To Sam the opinions of others  were worthless.  That did not mean Sam would not listen to other arguments or viewpoints.  He would sit quietly for a moment, determining if the other person agreed with him.  His eyebrows would raise, his face slowly tightening in disgust or anger.  He was preparing for a battle, a battle of mental or physical power.  But, whether with friends or with his mother, his patience quickly wore thin.

I saw him arguing a few times with his mother.  When things did not go his way he kicked a hole in the wall, then ripped out the phone.  Other times, he cursed at his mother until she fled. Always she came back, apologetic, eager to bring him food, clean his clothes, or do his bidding.

Once, he tried to impress me by stealing a crossbow and arrow set from a nearby department store and even went back to grab a large target.  Later, he used the bow to shoot two cats that had wandered onto the property from nearby apartments.

He spent hours cleaning his hunting rifles, his shotguns, and his Smith & Wesson .38 special revolver. Sam was unusual and I stayed out of his way.  Sometimes I would sit with his friends as he loudly  proclaimed his viewpoints, but I would not argue with him.  However, there came a day when Sam was in a bad mood.

He wanted to engage me in an argument but I tried to avoid it.  He pushed on and finally said, “I want you to get your ass out of this house.”
I calmly looked him in the eyes and said, “If your mother tells me to move, then I’ll move.”
He turned bright red.  “You’ll get out of here right now!”
“If your mother tells me to move, then I’ll move, “ I quietly replied.      Again he repeated his demand and again I stated, “If your mother tells me to move, then I’ll move.”

Previously I had been in the kitchen ironing and now Sam grabbed the ironing board and swung it at my head.  I ducked and moved inside, grabbing him in a wrestler’s hold.  He was bigger and stronger and soon had the advantage.  He tried to throw me to the floor but I countered his actions.  However, I was getting battered as he swung me against the table, the stove, and the refrigerator.  Finally I broke out of his grasp and began fighting as I had been taught long ago.  My fists pummeled his face, particularly targeting his eyes.

After receiving several solid hits, Sam staggered back and towards his room.  Watching him go, I breathed a sigh of relief that the fighting was over.  My joy was short-lived, because through the doorway of his bedroom I saw Sam opening up a drawer and pulling out the .38 special.  As he began shoving shells into the gun, I headed out the front door.

“O.k.,” I shouted.  “You won.  I’m out of here.”
I raced to my car, jumped in, sped out of the driveway, and hurried down the road.  The last time I saw Sam, he was standing in the doorway, gun in hand.

I often wondered what happened to his mom and his brother.  I suspected they were often abused by Sam.  I didn’t think Sam would change and maybe they couldn’t change either.

I never went back to check on any of them.  However, I waited to see if anything concerning Sam would turn up in the local newspaper, the Sacramento Bee.

There were a few stories that I noticed over the next five years.  Several bodies were found in Sam’s favorite hunting areas.  In addition, a double homicide occurred in a nearby suburb which was on Sam’s regular route as he traveled to his go cart races.  The male victim’s name was similar to mine.  There was only one letter difference.  The male victim was my height and weight and approximate age. I was amazed at his resemblance to me.   Perhaps Sam had seen that resemblance too.  When I thought back to Sam and that time of potential violence I shuddered at what could have happened.

But that part of my life was behind me.  With new purpose and direction, I finished college,  determined to make a difference in the world, determined to be a positive force.

I believed there were too many Sams in this world, too many of those Sams hurting the people around them.  God was with me and I was chosen to be a good Samaritan, chosen to touch the hearts of those who were hurt, chosen to teach that which is true and right, and chosen to witness to all.

By Dan Roberson