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David Ackles - American gothic

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Published on Jan 25, 2012

Mrs. Molly Jenkins
Sells her wares in town,
Saturdays in the evening
when the farmhands come around,
and she sews all their names in her gown.
Ah, but is she happy ?
No, no, no.
She wants a better home and a better kind of life;
but how's she going to get the things she wants, the things she needs,
as some poor wretch of a farmer's wife ?
He trades the milk for booze,
and Molly wants new shoes.
And, as she snuggles down with a stranger
in some back-of-the-barroom bed.
It's much too dark to see the stranger,
so she thinks of shoes instead.

Old Man Horace Jenkins
Stays at home to tend his schemes;
Sends for pictures of black stockings
on paper legs with paper seams,
and he drinks 'til he drowns in his dreams.
Ah, but is he happy ?
No, no, no.
He wants to be re-born, to lead the pious life;
but how's he going to shed his boozey dreams
when he has to bear the cross of a wicked wife ?
as some poor wretch of a farmer's wife ?
She claims to visit shows,
and he pretends that's where she goes.
And, as he snuggles down to his reading
in a half-filled marriage bed,
He's so ashamed of what he's reading
that's he gets blind drunk instead.

Sunday breakfast with the Jenkins,
They break the bread and cannot speak.
She reads the rustling of his paper;
He reads the way her new shoes squeak,
and pray God to survive one more week.
Ah, but are they happy ?
You'd be surprised,
between the bed and the booze and the shoes,
They suffer least who suffer what they choose.

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