Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Right Thing

Post Hoc
- Jennifer Maier

It happened because he looked a gift horse in the mouth. 
It happened because he couldn't get that monkey off his back. 
It happened because she didn't chew 22 times before swallowing. 
What was she thinking, letting him walk home alone from the bus stop? 
What was he thinking, standing up in the boat like that? 
Once she signed those papers the die was cast. 
She should have waited an hour before going in; everyone knows 
salami and seawater don't mix. 
He should have checked his parachute a seventh time; 
you can never be too careful. 
Why didn't she declare her true feelings? 
Why didn't she play hard to get? She could be out at some 
nice restaurant right now instead of in church, praying 
for the strength to let him go. 
It all started with that tattoo. 
It all started with her decision to order the chicken salad. 
Why was he so picky? 
Why wasn't she more discriminating? 
He should have read the writing on the wall; listened 
to the still small voice, had a lick of sense. But how could he when he 
was blinded by passion? Deaf to warnings? Really dumb? 
Why, why, in God's name, did he run with scissors? 
If only they'd asked Jesus for help. 
If only they'd asked their friends for help. 
If only they'd ignored the advice of others and held fast 
to their own convictions, they might all be here, now, 
with us, instead of six feet under; instead of trying to adopt 
that foreign baby, instead of warming that barstool 
at the Road Not Taken Eatery and Lounge, wondering how it might all 
have been different, if only they had done 
the right thing.



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