The old man’s German accent sang my name
From the porch behind the tattered screen.
“Neighbor David, I need your help, please!” He came
Dressed in green-stained boots and ragged jeans.
The rifle danced as we walked toward the fence,
Swinging like a pendulum before
The hour strikes and ends the welcomed silence.
I followed Mr. Houghton’s march to war.
We bowed our heads and spread barbed wire for one
Another, then crossed his dusty driveway and walked
Into his alfalfa, freshly mown.
The old man didn’t see a need for talk.
The sweet hay’s fragrance filled the morning air
Like gardenias in a water bowl.
We stepped as one, my prints on top of his,
Mirroring step for step and sole for sole.
I could see his tractor waiting in
The grass (where it started up a little rise)
And knee high green dancing in the wind.
It was then I heard her frightened cries.
Two blue eyes were staring up at us.
Royal Siamese blood dripped red upon
The sickle bar that left her pained and pawless,
While Mr. Houghton handed me the gun.
He held her down. No parting prayer was said
Before one mournful shot soon left her dead.
Based on a true story