For Honor, Part I

I.
Carter Gray was a retired marine,
who’d done two tours in Afghanistan,
discharged at thirty, he moved to Utah
to raise cattle on a big spread of land.

He’d worked dawn to dusk every day
for two years to make it thrive,
when the money came in, he struck it big,
‘organic beef’ commanded prices quite high.

One day in town at his favorite place,
an Italian restaurant with great chicken parm,
he caught the eye of a pretty waitress
when by accident he brushed her arm.

She had olive skin and raven-dark hair,
soft, brown eyes full of deep mystery,
“Sepidah,” was the name on her sweet lips,
when Carter asked who she might be.

The next time he went out on the town,
this lovely woman was upon his arm,
they talked all night, with no awkwardness,
he was hopelessly lost to her charms.

This went on for weeks, until on spring day,
Carter dropped to his knee with a ring,
Sepidah smiled, said,”I want to say yes,
but before we do, you must know something.

“See I was born far away in Tehran,
but was raised here, eighteen years a Muslim.
when I dated a boy not of my faith
my life turned to the brutal and grim.

“My father Selim and one of my brothers
thought that I’d brought the family disgrace.
They found me one day walking with John,
and stuck a loaded pistol in my face.

“John jumped in front, he died for me,
bought me the time to run away.
My brother, the shooter, was given life,
but for lesser charges is my father’s stay.

“He has sworn that he will never rest
until he’s made me ‘pay fore my crime,’
And he’s already proven that he’ll go after
any poor boyfriend of love of mine.

“To make things worse, he doesn’t know
about how afterwards I changed my faith,
For his Christian daughter he’ll be enraged,
True Believers must kill apostates.”

To make the point she motioned to
the pistol she carried in her purse.
He nodded and said,”I didn’t know,
but to be honest, I have fought worse.

“And I won’t give up the love of my life
because her dad’s a damned extremist,
to do that would be a surrender to
the designs of a damned terrorist.”

So he put the ring upon her,
to marry her would be his honor.

Copyright © | Year Posted 2018




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