Margaret and The Bullet, A Poem by Chris Russell

I was doing my usual Sunday walk through the woods by my house, when Margaret from work appeared out from behind a tree and hit me over the back with a stick. “What happened today?” I said. “Do you want to talk about it?” “I just didn’t want you getting depressed,” she said. I appreciated her concern, however unfounded it was. She was obviously projecting. “Margaret, you just hit me over the back with a stick. Something has to be wrong. I know I’m not your best friend, and we don’t know each other that well, but you never know, I might be able to help,” I said. She picked up the stick and jabbed me with it. I knocked it out of the way. She pulled out a gun. This was way past projecting. “Just put the gun down, Margaret,” I said. “And besides, if you kill me, who will be around to listen to you like this?” “Just don’t do what my husband is doing,” she said. “What is your husband doing?” I said. The gun was shaking. “Is there anything I can do to help you feel better?” she said. “Help me feel better?” I said. “Can I pour you a drink or make you a sandwich? That always makes me feel better,” she said. I didn’t want to play into her delusion, but sometimes, when lives are on the line, it’s the lesser of two evils. “I’ll take a drink,” I said. “Why, so you can pull me down under with you?” she said. She pulled the trigger. The bullet tore through my right shoulder. I was able to remove the gun from her, and we stood there, staring at each other for what seemed an eternity. “Was it worth it, Margaret?” I said. “I brought you something to eat, homemade,” she said. She handed me a dead baby bird. “Thanks, Margaret,” I said. “Well aren’t you going to eat it?” She said. I could hear the sirens approaching. “I just ate, sweetie. Why don’t I put this in my pocket until later,” I said. I put the dead, baby bird in my pocket. A police officer ran out from behind a tree and hit me over the back with his baton. “Mam, please step away. I’ll handle this,” the officer said. “Where did he shoot you?” She pointed at my shoulder. “You managed to get hold of the gun and defend yourself. Good girl,” he said. No matter what I did or said, I couldn’t tell my side of the story to save my life. That’s when I got the idea to start making no sense. I looked at the officer and pulled my pants down around my ankles, then began jumping up and down like a gorilla. “Blankets can be eaten with a wooden spoon if they are flayed sufficiently,” I said. “I’m glad you told me that sir,” the officer said. “For a minute there I thought we had a real crazy on our hands.” “My poop wanted to know if camels fly upside down in a thimble,” I said. “Thanks for letting us know, sir. We’ll be sure to take her down to the station and begin questioning her about her husband,” he said. I handed the officer the dead baby bird she had given me. “I see you have the bullet casing,” he said.

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