a ballad

Grasshopper they called her
the boys did; I never liked her
neither; too smart for her own good.

All legs, right up to her armpits
the boys said; but there wasn’t
one not anglin’ to get her into bed.

Little did they know she was
more than willin’ to go, too
and smoke cigarettes and swig
straight from a bottle like the hobos do.

Real little tramp, that Grasshopper
but still I was sorry when we heard
that her body had been found
not far from our old swimmin’ ground
where that fat man in the shiny car used to
drive around – you know, the one
who always had a cigar; I was there
once when he invited her to his bar.

I always thought he was the one
that did it – shot her in the head –
as men like that always have
a gun of some kind or other
behind the counter and another
in the glove compartment
of their convertible, or at least
they always seem to have two
in detective stories or old movies,
you know, the gritty, grainy ones
that can really spook you out.

Poor Grasshopper; never got
to be much of anythin’, ‘cept
a bug to be stepped on.




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