Cora Louise Smith owns/
an entire street at the North end/
of town, each lawn manicured/
to Cora’s refined perfection.
Like her beehive hair,/
the purplish grey of later days,/
Cora’s style belongs to another era,/
when boys still counted holding hands an honor,/
and girls defined their virtue as a gift.
Cora’s virtue lies six feet under,/
in the ground where her sweetheart sleeps,/
ten years gone and counting. He spent/
forty years keeping the peace/
in sleepy Mesquite Bend,/
but he still worked 24 hour days/
a month of Sundays, runaways /
and underage beer drinkers/
his true specialties.
These days, Cora bakes fluffy biscuits/
Tuesdays, putting on her best/
Sunday dress to visit/
the station where she once took/
lunches packed with love notes /
tucked between the ham and cheese sandwiches. No one/
in modern-day Mesquite Bend knows/
what Cora gave away to marry,/
the family who turned its gold-plated back/
on her beloved lawman,/
Cora’s only tie to her rightful inheritance/
the dowry her maiden great aunt secretly/
bestowed on the only relative/
who ever had the guts to tell her no.