Editorial: Before You Go

© Lyle Petersen

published in ANVIL Magazine, August, 1998

"I know it's kind of late," she said,
    "I meant to call before
I've been out of town, you know,
    - oh, travel s such a bore -
And anyway it's been so wet
    I haven't ridden much
But now I see Zip's feet again -
    they need a loving touch.
The shoes you put on him last fall
    stayed on a good long time.
I think he still has one attached,
    the rest are in the slime.
I'll try to find them 'fore you come
    and save some work for you
And if I can I'll use the old,
    not have to pay for new.
I hope you haven't raised your prices
    since I saw you last.
I thought you charged enough back then
    and still weren't very fast.
So how about tonight at six?
    I should be home by then.
And if I'm not, you know my place.
    Zip should be in his pen.
His halter's hanging on a hook -
    he isn't hard to snare.
His pasture isn't very big,
    you'll see him if he's there.
The notice may be short," said she,
    I do suppose you're busy,
But Saturday's the show, you know,
    and I'm just in a tizzy.
Greg Johnson says he can't come,
    and neither can Mike Blose,
Or Bruce, or Kip, or Robert Lee,
    and after all you're close.
So see you in a couple hours
    (remember, bring your twitch)
And if you have some Ace I know
    she'll stand without a hitch."
I didn't yell or curse or growl
    or throw a temper fit.
I didn't shout or stomp about -
    I even grinned a bit.
I didn't wince or clench my teeth,
    or make a nasty scene,
For this, you see, is why I have an
    answering machine.
I'll call her back tomorrow morn
    at six or just before.
With perky voice all kind and sweet:
    "I'm heading out the door
And won't be back 'till late again,
    and Saturday's tomorrow -
I may not be your man this time,
    so must express my sorrow.
My principle has always been
    'Your call will be returned.
Your business is important, so
    it surely won't be spurned.'
But there's a shoer new in town
    I'm told he is a dandy.
I have his name and phone right here.
    You got a pencil handy?

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