The Pearls of Verna Boone

The Pearls of Verna Boone

A Poem by David Lewis Paget

 

I'd been alone for a year or so
Since Norma Jean had died,
I stayed in the house I'd bought for her
At the end of River Drive,
I'd felt her death as a fatal blow,
A crippling twist of fate,
For Norma Jean was my one true love,
Though I'd met her a little late!
 
I was past my prime when our eyes had met,
And she'd looked so young to me,
Her eyes had sparkled like diamonds set
As scarabs in sand and sea,
She saw the desert behind my eyes,
The emptiness in my life,
I stumbled over the words, but she
Said 'Yes!' - She would be my wife!
 
I didn't know that she carried then
The seeds of a painful death,
Her face was flushed at the altar stone
And she seemed so short of breath,
I thought it merely a passing faint
That excitement had brought on,
As we stood in front of the Minister,
And joined our lives as one.
 
But then at home, she fell apart,
Collapsed on the kitchen floor,
I saw her lying, and coughing blood
Like I'd never seen before,
The doctor called, and he shook his head
As he left her there in the bed,
'I'm very sorry,' the doctor sighed,
'But your lovely wife is dead!'
 
I cried and raged, and swore at fate
I smashed each wedding gift,
I wouldn't go to the funeral
But stayed at home and wept.
I cursed the heavens and thought that hell
Could never have been as bad
As a love that I'd waited a lifetime for,
A love that I'd never had!
 
The house next door was a rental place,
Stood empty for months that year,
But then a couple had moved on in,
I didn't see him, just her.
I thought that he was a traveller,
Was constantly on the road,
He came at night, and he left at dawn
In a battered and ancient Ford.
 
I had no reason to talk to them,
I sat at home with my grief,
I wandered out in the garden then
At one with each falling leaf,
But then one day, I heard her there
The other side of the fence,
Breaking her heart, as crying there
She sobbed with vehemence.
 
After a week of this, I climbed
The fence, and spoke to her,
'Why do you sigh, why do you cry?'
But she cried then all the more.
I walked around and sat with her
Quite late in the afternoon,
She smiled, and dried her eyes, and said,
'My name is Verna Boone!'
 
She said she'd only been married
Just a year this coming Spring,
But now that she knew the man he was,
Regretted everything,
He'd lost her money, just gambled it,
Had spent it on other girls,
And now they were left with nothing, he
Just wanted her mother's pearls!
 
'They're all I have to remember her,'
She sobbed, like a frightened child,
'They're worth a lot, but they're more to me,'
She looked at me, and smiled.
She took me inside and pulled them out
Three strings, they were very fine,
'He said that he's going to pawn them!'
Then she put her small hand in mine.
 
I was sad, alone and vulnerable,
I looked at her lovely curls,
She smiled at me, and she asked me then
If I'd care for her mother's pearls?
'I'll say they're lost, misplaced, I'll say,
He'll rant and rage, and more,
But he won't be able to pawn them now...'
Then she walked me to the door.
 
I took her home, and I placed the pearls
With the gems my wife had once:
'They'll be all right in the downstairs safe.'
It was then that she saw the gun.
She looked afraid, but she picked it up
And weighed it there in her hand,
I took it gently and locked it up
With the rest of my contraband.
 
'She must have watched as I spun the dial,
I know - I was such a fool!'
The sergeant sat and he stared at me,
And his stare was distant, cool.
He didn't believe a word I said
I could see that now, I'm done!
They put me back in a cell to wait
To be charged with Murder One!
 
She told them I had come over when
Her husband came home one night,
Waving a gun and ranting, then
Her husband put up a fight!
I'd shot him once through the head, she said,
Then taken her on the bed,
Stolen a fine pearl necklace,
Then beaten and left her for dead!
 
They found the gun on the floor, they said,
I knew that the gun was mine,
They found the pearls in my safe, they said,
It was only a question of time.
She sat at the back of the court while I
Was stood in the prisoner's dock,
And I noticed she wore her mother's pearls
With a nice new evening frock.
 
David Lewis Paget

© 2012 David Lewis Paget



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Featured Review

Having gone months without the pleasure of reading your words, I find myself equally spellbound by the story you weave. Your language is pure artistry! You take me to lands I've never been, make me familiar with people I've never known, and lead me on a journey that I never regret.

Your words sparkle like diamonds!

Love,

Linda Marie

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

Having gone months without the pleasure of reading your words, I find myself equally spellbound by the story you weave. Your language is pure artistry! You take me to lands I've never been, make me familiar with people I've never known, and lead me on a journey that I never regret.

Your words sparkle like diamonds!

Love,

Linda Marie

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

What a twisted piece of fate. Could the poor guy have had a worse life I ask? It's amazing how you can tell an entire story in so few words. Your talent is amazing.


Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Well, I finally get a poem written with my name in it and what happens, I get killed off even before the story begins. It makes it a little easier to know that I was the love of his life. lol

All pun aside now, This was a sad tale of a man who always seems to lose out when it comes to love.
Your heart really goes out to this man when you realize he is such a gentle. caring and trusting soul,and then you pull your famous switch
You have a knack for making the bizaare and uncanny seem as commonplace as a sunrise. You are a superb plotter and wordsmith, and you use your stories to explore the human condition and demonstrate that the real horror of life is found not in monsters, but within the human psyche.

Loved it...........

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

David, read this on the other site..You just keep them coming..I love reading them..Kathie

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Yes, I like this one much more than Redneck, but not as much at the Bree, but like it I do. You generate sympathy for the lone loser in love. We feel happy for him and then sad when his new wife keels. And then life deals him an even worse card. Nothing is what it seems for the Gary Ullibble in life, alas, alack! And the cheek of the villainess boldly standing there in here pearls. So is that how is? We either can't find Mr or Mrs right and when we do they die on us in some way. Of course the liklihood is not that they die literally, but emotionally, or erotically. Or they become unbearable to us and must be got rid of. I wonder how what proportion of people find someone they are actually happy with for life? 10 percent? 20 percent if we change the qualifying word from happy to content?

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Once again my dear friend, a twist that I did not anticipate! You have a tremendous gift for setting a scene and forcing the reader to anticipate an expected outcome and then, bam, you change it up unexpectedly on us and take us in an entirely different direction. You tell complete stories with so many layers of emotion and meaning in such a short span of words. You are truly gifted!

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

David, your gift for expressing the blackiness, the bleakness that live within the human heart is unsurpassed. Here an unsuspecting fellow, brokenhearted, but in whom the capacity to love is not yet quenched, reaches out to help another, apparently in distress. She, on the other hand has quite given up on love, and sees in him the solutions to problems both specific and general, but nothing else. We men can be such saps! But nevertheless, I will not desist in trying to help, irrespective of what it might cost me; the rewards of a life lived with compassion and love far outweigh the price paid offering them!

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on August 10, 2009
Last Updated on June 27, 2012

Author

David Lewis Paget
David Lewis Paget

Moonta, South Australia, Australia



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