Whatever they wanted; I didn’t care one way or the other.

I didn’t care if the handicapped wife fell in the well

or the bad guy said he’d save her and didn’t

Or when later, her so over souped corpse

(this discretely off-camera)

was falling off the bone

And the righteous husband, asked by the honest retriever

if he wanted the head…

Take it or leave it, made no never mind to me.

Then…in the distance…the masked rider

galloping towards us

a savior, female,

the tension palpable as she nears…

(think Meryl Streep I’m told)

Could it be?

The return of the white hair woman!

Note for revision:

Introduce white hair woman before her return.

The righteous husband heads off with his young’ns and

the white hair woman to high prairie climes

dusted with snow and newly minted men.

Everything there is for the taking.

Everyone’s a pioneer.

And no one ever goes to the movies.


by Mark Stein

Mark Stein’s poetry and creative non-fiction has appeared in Exposition Review, Eclectica, Nimrod, Michigan Quarterly Review, Madison Review and Moment. His plays have been produced at Manhattan Theatre Club, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Actors Theater of Louisville, South Coast Repertory, Manitoba Theatre Centre, LA’s Fountain Theater, and most recently an award-winning production at Chicago’s Raven Theater of Direct from Death Row the Scottsboro Boys. He wrote the screenplay for the Steve Martin/Goldie Hawn film, Housesitter, and the New York Times Best Seller, How the States Got Their Shapes, which became the basis for a History Channel series by the same name. His other non-fiction books include American Panic: A History of Who Scares Us and Why; Vice Capades: Sex, Drugs, and Bowling from the Pilgrims to the Present.


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