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Red, 1965

Jack Jordan Avatar Jack Jordan - Premium MemberPremium Member Send Soup Mail Go to Poets Blog Block poet from commenting on your poetry

Below is the poem entitled Red, 1965 which was written by poet Jack Jordan. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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Red, 1965

	
	He entered the dark house 
	through the unlocked kitchen door, 
	his house until the separation,
	found his way 
	down the dark hallway 
	to the bedroom,  
	hid in the closet, 
	the door slightly open to 
	a clear view of the room 
	in the half-light of a full moon. 
	Sweaty clothes piled
	on the closet floor	
	didn’t matter; 
	he had other business.
	
	He settled in 
	for a long wait, 
	almost nodding off, 
	staying awake 
	by rocking toe to heel 
	in his Redwing boots, 
	left arm cramped 
	from gripping his gun. 
	He could have laid it on the floor, 
	but he might not have been 
	able to find it in the dark, 
	so he held it, 
	and waited.
	
	Soon enough. 
	there was laughter
	in the kitchen,
	metallic sounds of ice 
	dropped into glasses, 
	ardent whispers growing louder 
	as they moved to the bedroom, 
	dancing a bit, 
	arms around each other. 
	She turned on the bedside lamp. 
	Red removed her blouse; 
	she unbuttoned his shirt, 
	let it fall to the floor.

	He kicked the closet door open,
	stepped into the room, 
	raised his gun and shouted, 
	“It’s my turn to dance.” 

	Red turned... 
	Two bullets pierced his chest. 
	He fell backwards onto the bed, 	
	rolled off to the floor,
	didn’t move again.  
	
	The shooter stood quietly, 
	relieved and satisfied, 
	watching his wife 
	kneel beside Red’s body. 
	He sidestepped them, 
	switched off the light 
	at the open door,
	turned to look back, 
	said to himself,
	“That’s done...
	I need a drink.” 

	The murder was ruled justifiable homicide. 
	He was set free. 
	That’s the law down here in Texas.



	The applicable Texas law was written in 1856, and stated that, “Homicide is justifiable       when committed by the husband on anyone taken in the act of adultery with the wife, provided that 	the killing takes place before the parties to the act of adultery have separated.” Texas law considered these murders justifiable homicide, and completely excused the killing. The law was 		repealed in 1973.
	
	Paraphrased from “Law in Western United States,” 
	by Gordon Morris Bakken

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  1. Date: 7/1/2013 10:03:00 PM
    JACK, this is a nice winning poem in PD's contest. <3 SKAT <3

    Jordan Avatar Jack Jordan
    Date: 7/2/2013 6:55:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    Thank you for the comment. It was a horrible occasion, but very long ago, so it has lost most of its sting... Jack
  1. Date: 6/28/2013 2:44:00 PM
    And interesting poem. Congratulations on your fine win. Warm Smiles, Connie

    Jordan Avatar Jack Jordan
    Date: 6/28/2013 5:45:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    Thanks for the comment, Connie.
  1. Date: 6/26/2013 4:55:00 PM
    Hello Jack , CONGRATULATIONS~ and thank you for enjoying my contest...I had much fun in closing my contest called ... ""A week into my poem""- Take care and enjoy my blog if you like... have yourself a lovely day.... LINDA

    Jordan Avatar Jack Jordan
    Date: 6/26/2013 6:05:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    Thanks, Linda. I really liked the concept of the contest. This particular one took five or so years to write... Jack
  1. Date: 5/7/2013 9:49:00 AM
    I was captured by this story, Jack...I really enjoyed it...don't mess with Texas, huh? I think I have heard of that law before.

    Jordan Avatar Jack Jordan
    Date: 5/7/2013 9:55:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    This actually happened to a family member. Texas is one crazy place... Jack
  1. Date: 5/5/2013 9:04:00 AM
    OMG, what a vengeful guy that was. I was glad to see in the footnote that horrible law was repealed. VERY good telling of it. I really enjoyed that.

    Jordan Avatar Jack Jordan
    Date: 5/5/2013 9:09:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    Sorry about my earlier reply. It was intended for Timothy Hicks. Regarding "Red," I thought for years that the story about the law was fiction, but I learned first-hand the hard way that it wasn't. I too was relieved to see that it had been repealed, although the date of repeal is appalling... Jack
    Jordan Avatar Jack Jordan
    Date: 5/5/2013 9:05:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    There were very few readers after 24 hours, so I decided not to take up space. I guess my attempt at humor didn't play well. Thanks for the comment though... Jack
  1. Date: 5/4/2013 11:01:00 PM
    What happened to your Malfunctioning poem... did you delete it? I was just coming on to say I looked up E.E. Cummings. Not exactly sure what to think. I'm sorta OCD about punctuation, though I do like inventiveness. Not sure if the lack of punctuation improved it or not... *shrugs*...

    Jordan Avatar Jack Jordan
    Date: 5/5/2013 9:12:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    There were very few readers after 24 hours, so I decided not to take up space. I guess my attempt at humor didn't play well. However, this being Sunday morning, I'm going to post it again. Thanks for the comment though... Jack
  1. Date: 5/4/2013 10:52:00 AM
    Wow, that's disturbing! I've heard silly laws before, but this one takes the cake! You put your own flair on history, still keeping true to what happened, but made it enjoyable to read. Is murder is justifiable in this sense, I'm assuming adultery is looked down at even more than it is now. This comes close to justifiable "stoning to death", but not quite. Very interesting to read!

    Jordan Avatar Jack Jordan
    Date: 5/4/2013 11:21:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    There are many dreadful laws on the books. This was among the worst, in my opinion. Thankfully, it's gone... Jack
  1. Date: 5/4/2013 4:43:00 AM
    Interesting history... well told... Terry

    Jordan Avatar Jack Jordan
    Date: 5/4/2013 9:21:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    Thank you, Terry... Jack
  1. Date: 5/3/2013 9:51:00 AM
    A law long overdue in its repeal. Entertaining read, Jack. You're not mentioning it, but I sure hope you're entering this in Frank's "Color" contest. If so, the very best of luck to you. I think you might like a look-see at my "Poetic Justice", where I highlight corruption in law in lighthearted manner. :)

    Jordan Avatar Jack Jordan
    Date: 5/3/2013 10:51:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    Unfortunately, this is a true story. And I did enter Frank's contest. Thanks again... Jack
    Jordan Avatar Jack Jordan
    Date: 5/3/2013 10:31:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    Thanks for reading and the recommendation... Jack