Death Of The Hero

We couldn’t bear to slaughter
pigs and with the drought
we just gave up
the naive hope of
ever making gentleman
farming work.
The year we spent at Allstate, we
would rather now forget. We
hated scaring folks: Imagine that
you lose your house to
fire, or you’re stricken with a fatal
this or that, something that’s maybe
symptomless. Or there’s a workplace
accident, you’re dis-
mem-
bered,
God for-
bid, or worse, what
happens to
your spouse and kids? They’re up the so-
called creek.
We entered politics some-
time after that, ran
for a City Council
seat, lost in a
rout. Our spouse
absconded, fearing being
hurt by us the next time things did
not go quite as hoped.
Childless, we
divorced.
Depressed, to say the
least, we drove out on a ferry
boat, the one that goes from
Boxport out to Riley’s
Point, we gunned it, shot straight out
the other end, right through the safety
chain, think Thelma
and Louise, our canyon, though, was harbor
water, sludgy, twelve
feet deep. We didn’t die, they pulled
us out.
The car, a total loss, of
course, the motor’s
scrap once salt
gets in it.
Stupid
the attempt to drown
oneself in shallow water, better
odds out farther in
the rip.
The blues run
there, we caught one at the
age of six, in our father’s Boston
Whaler, never
had a better day than that one
since. One day
a life can make.

(Copyright © 2011 Peter Maeck)

Death Of The Hero

Peter Maeck

Lexington MA, United States

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