Anna and the Boys
By Larry Connelly, Navy
Writing Type: Poem
By Larry E. Connelly
—Liberty Lake, WA
You ask me, “Could that be young Jake hanging
the swaying branch yonder on that old tree?”
That lifeless thing dressed in rags, no hat or shoes,
not Jake then there would hang you or me.
We were three once, the rulers of County Arbrest,
miles of wooded paths all told.
By day or nightfall, unaware, the wealthy and proud
our open purses had rode.
No quarter did we give, and none could we ask,
who would easily give up a weight of gold?
Unless forced to yield by vagabonds, well-horsed,
with attitudes so bold.
The story has oft been told of how the girl came
capture us and lay claim to the posted reward.
Her plan was simple: first went my heart, then John’s,
by young Jake’s.
We were too blind to recognize the growing of discord.
Just a wink here, a quick hug there shared by each of us,
first to the others’ delight.
Then came the night sounds that proved Jake
the only one; John and I sat apart, alone that night.
To the sounds of hooves and muted commands,
two losers swiftly faded into the morning’s mist.
Till the cry, “There he runs by yonder path!”
We had no proof of complicity. Jake’s name
scratched in villages from the list.
Sometime later, in a small market town, John glimpsed
Anna with bread, cheese and wine.
Along, with a fat purse for Jake’s demise,
a fair young officer with whom she alone would dine.
Revenge blinds even the most astute; experience and care
naught. John drew his sword, his challenge fair.
From my hillside perch, the valley’s beauty
has only one slight blemish,
John's silent body twists in its air.
In their shabby graves, there now lay Jake,
would be John into the paupers’ section placed.
After Jake and John, the third grave awaited me,
whom no good deed could be traced.