wordle 2
gabrielle austen

Cranes v. Stokes, circa 1901

Mauve was her name,
murder, the blame.
Scandal, ill fame
to fam'ly Crane
loomed far and wide,
An internecine stain:

Feud of decades
'tween men and maids,
moonshine and raids. . .
someone's insult,
creolized curse,
brought a fatal result. . .

Mauve Crane grew up
'midst pigs and pups,
and poison cups,
and that Stokes' boast:
"We killed the Crane
who was the Devil's Host."

Hatred's fire singed.
Stokes made her cringe.
"Revenge, revenge"
a song she wrote
on her guitar,
the lyrics couched in code

Ma and Pa Stokes
mean, simple folk
took months to rogue,
but Mauve Crane won
their seedy hearts
with gumbo soup and fun

and N'awlin's charm:
she stroked their arms
winked and disarmed
them with songs hummed
with her guitar,
such deadly songs she strummed. . .

Though Mauve's soup, a
peccary goop,
hard-sealed the dupe,
the starring role
was her sweet tea,
deadly Datura Gold!

Mauve sang, Stokes tried.
The tea tripped high
their brains, which fried.
In days, death came
with writhing pain.
Mauve cheered, cold vengeance claimed.

Her name was dropped;
Stokes' kin called cops
who brought caltrops.
No need, Mauve 'fessed
strong and forthright,
her tale quite cool, unstressed

She was arraigned,
deemed not deranged,
sentenced and chained.
Then -- court drama:
"Cranes rule," she yelled,
"No more frettin', Mama!"

The bailiff led
Her guilty head
to prison bed
where she lived long
(to ninety-eight)
humming her murder songs.

©2014 Gabrielle Austen. All rights reserved.