My Last Wife

It was gold and bigger than a bread box,
my birthday gift topped with a red velvet bow,
and I was amused by my wife’s humor,
when I saw upon opening it that it held just
two tickets to the latest play in town.

The drama’s story is that a strange magician
pursues a woman, his stage assistant,
who is not interested in him, preferring
the hero of the play, a television weatherman.
Seeming finally to bow out of pursuing her,
the spurned magician, at the climactic moment,
has the woman in a box where he will,
in time-honored fashion, saw her in half.
Normally, of course, this would not so much
as cause even a small tear in her skirt,
and the audience would anticipate this
and not shed a tear for the heroine
since she would emerge from the box
unscathed, a veritable walk in the park for her.
The villain, however, has rigged it so that
the heroine will actually be cut in half this night.
Fortunately, the hero, an Olympic archer,
with an expert bow, plants an arrow
in the evil showman’s chest to win the day
and assure that the couple will live together
happily ever after in wedded bliss.
But as the two embrace, lo and behold,
the supposedly slain magician has one more
trick up his sleeve, and that is a second wind.
Sitting up behind them, and with an assassin’s
lean and hungry look, he plucks out the arrow
and, rising with great effort, staggers toward
the embracing couple where he leans in and rams
the arrow into his rival’s chest, then drops dead.
As the heroine cradles the dying hero in her arms,
he recalls how he taught her to parallel park, then dies.

Did you enjoy the play, asks my other half,
to which I enthusiastically reply that I loved it.

After she falls asleep, I head down to the garage.
Grabbing my rip saw, I tiptoe back to the bedroom
to try my hand at the trick of cutting a body in two.

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