It was a time to bond and booze with dear Papa,
An interval all the more naughtily charming
As it inflamed the temper of irascible Mama.
Before happy hour, we two went shooting
With the three o three I bought for drama
In a gauche youth that was always dragging.
Out we drove in my short, fat pa’s beetle,
Two maladroits equally socially feeble.
We stopped by some neatly stacked cans
That we shot, exploding wet excrement
Putting a brown pall on our bonding plans.
I fired a random shot as if by witty accident.
Off we went driving by unbroken fences
Till we saw a policeman in bewilderment
Standing over a black and white cow,
By a farmer making a bellowing row.
“We shot the beef, my son,” joshed Pa,
And put the foot down upon the pedal,
Laughing merrily in the hurrying car.
I smiled at his jest however feeble,
A tasteless jibe at the furious farmer.
The very thought I readily dismissed
With a sly, effete flick of the wrist.
The matter of the dead cow was forgot
Until not too long before oblivion
Took hold of every thought of the sot
Aged stupid by whisky and bad living.
“It was because of that cow we shot,
A sin that God has not yet forgiven.”
For a neighbour’s dog gored his heifer,
A punishment he had to decipher.
But I think he obliquely gave me blame,
For it was I who shot the bovine brute.
Before his fading mind went fully lame
He reasoned it best to stem guilty root
Before old sins haunted shaky mind’s frame.
Dark disputes lingered as he was less astute.
But for me the cow is a point of indifference,
In the abattoir a month earlier of its existence.