The Short, Unhappy Courtship of Francis Macomber, a poem by Ken Gosse at
Gordon Ross (The woman behind the gun)

The Short, Unhappy Courtship of Francis Macomber

The Short, Unhappy Courtship of Francis Macomber

written by: Ken Gosse


In midday’s light, a pure delight,
but would their love last through the night?

At her house, his darling mouse,
he played the role of future spouse.

They hoped for kisses; that’s where bliss is—
unless watched by Daddy’s Mrs.

Cheeks so cozy, lips so rosy,
she enticed him to be nosey.

One small whiff of handkerchief
and instinct drove him off the cliff.

A stiff reaction to attraction
proved his preference for infraction.

Eyes stare where they shouldn’t dare.
She bats hers twice and likes his there.

With hope’s intention, he’d soon mention
wonderment at their suspension.

On her lap the cat would nap.
He pet it while he popped a snap.

The cat awoke beneath his stroke;
his hand would land beneath her cloak.

It slid to where her cute derrière
had settled on the comfy chair.

Legs like a queen, somewhere between
converged a path he’d never seen.

A very late extended date;
her folks chose not to sit and wait.

“You’re in my bed. Use hers instead.”
The very words her father said!

They battled on! All armor gone,
their warfare lasted until dawn.

She never parried. Next day, married.
Hope and freedom soon were buried.

Plans redrawn, their joint logon
produced an unexpected spawn

but he’d avow his mighty prow
produced this child of golden brow.

Life’s too long without a song;
how quickly he saw all go wrong.

One of a crowd, she disallowed
his access to the field he’d plowed.

Soon another was her druther;
thence arrived a red-haired brother.

Each amore whom she’d adore
left children unlike those before.

Never one with whom you’d trifle,
who taught her to shoot a rifle?

On the veldt, once more misdealt,
a hunter soon would pet her pelt.

Their expedition, her last mission;
one shot freed him from perdition.



The characters and the story’s ending are borrowed from Ernest Hemingway’s 1936 short story “The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber.”

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