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Daddy Took A Gun
by Kathy Cohen

              Daddy took a gun in ‘61
              And blew off the top of his head
              Ever since he left me waiting at home
              I’ve been less alive than dead,
              Less alive than dead.

              Daddy wrote a note in ‘61
              And kept it in his drawer
              Mama tore it up, said it was sad
              He won’t be writing more
              No he won’t be writing more.

              Daddy rode a train in ‘61
              From Mobile to Eagle Pass
              Where the scorpions crawl and the buzzards fly
              They laid him on the grass,
              Laid his coffin on the grass.

              Mama took a picture in ’61
              Of Daddy laid out to rest
              I found it after Mama died
              Like a knife into my breast,
              Oh a knife plunged through my breast.

              ‘Fore Daddy shot the gun in ‘61
              I told him I wished he was dead
              He never looked up and he never looked back
              And he nevermore came to my bed
              No he nevermore came to my bed.

              I killed Daddy in ‘61
              But he’d already killed me
              When he said if I told, then Mama’d leave
              And I was only three
              A babe of only three.

              Now I’m Daddy’s age as in ‘61
              Still more dead than alive
              A note waits in my bottom drawer
              In case I don’t survive
              Oh I’m barely getting by.

A native of Mobile, Alabama, and a graduate of Millsaps College and Mississippi State University, Kathy Cohen taught Composition at both schools. She has published fiction and poetry in The Saturday Afternoon Journal and essays in Millsaps Magazine.

Her screenplay, Imminent Peril, written with her husband, author Edward Cohen, was optioned by Oprah Winfrey, and their screenplay, Blood Relations, was a winner at the Austin Screenwriting Festival. Despite much ado, not one of their screenplays was ever produced, and Kathy is happily teaching English as a Second Language to immigrants in South Central Los Angeles.

Write Kathy at k.cohen@mac.com.


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