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Come What May

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There's no moonlight to speak of tonight.

A Dark Moon it's called in these parts.

It's black as pitch out there now and in my book there's nothin' to see. And yet, just like last time, and the time before that, there you stand, starin' out of that window.

Your posture is tight and unhappy, and there's an unsmoked cigar twixt your fingers.

And if that ain't a clue, nothin' is.

You're broodin' again.

It's somethin' you do on dark evenin's like this. Every once in a while, when the night has closed in. When there's nothin' to hear but a chorus of yips from those far off coyotes.

And the hoot of that wily old owl that lives out in our barn.

I look down at my hands. Bring my mind back to what I've been doin'.

It ain't easy, because - truth be told - I'm just bidin' my time.

I reach out for the shotgun. The new one. The one I picked up today. It ain't brand new, of course – near a dozen years old - but it's all in one piece and is still fit for purpose. All it needs is a couple of springs and a good goin' over to set it to rights.

I've pulled the whole thing apart. Done it twice over now. And I've polished that stock till it's gleamin'.

But just as I'm ready to set it aside, I hear a soft Cajun curse.

And a low, weary sigh.

And that's when I figure enough is enough.

I put the cleaning rod down and get up to my feet. Move across till I'm standin' behind you. Then, takin' it slow, I put out a hand and let it rest on your shoulder.

Then I wait for a spell.

By and by, I feel your muscles ease under my fingers. Sense your body relax by degrees. And when you finally turn, there's a warmth in your eyes that I'm certain most folks never see.

You lay a hand to the side of my face.

Your gaze softens and lingers.

Don't quite know where it is that you go, but it's damned good to know that I'm worth comin' home to.

Whatever it takes.

Come what may.

I aim to keep it that way.