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The Shotgun Wedding: A mini-epic poem

McGruff was a standin' over me with that damned shotgun! At least that's what he looked like to me.

McGruff was a standin' over me with that damned shotgun! At least that's what he looked like to me.

Ideas come from life

I got the idea for this little ditty from a true story. My best friend's older sister, Louise, knew very little of her father. Her mother wouldn't tell her anything, so she used to question my mother who knew both parents. My mom always told her she didn't know him very well. Seems that Louise's mother had been quite a firecracker in her day and got pregnant. She pointed to the most likely suspect as the father. Her Pappy and his shotgun rounded up the young man, and they all went to the preacher. After the wedding, her new husband left her standing at the alter. I guess a marriage is legal if it's been consummated before the ceremony instead than after. Anyway, after Louise was born, the mom divorced and married a second time. The second wedding took and produced seven more kids, including my best friend, Samantha.

After I was grown, Mom told me the story upon the promise that I would never tell Louise the truth.

the-shotgun-wedding-a-mini-epic-poem

"Boy," the big man snarled

"You done laid a babe

'pon my baby gurl.

Stand up, admit it like a man

You the one been messin’

With my Carrie Ann!"


I stammered, “Nosir, not me.”

My feet wouldn’t budge

When I tried to flee.

Ole McGruff took a stance.

I looked at his face

Then I peed my pants.


Gawd, I wished I had a keg

When I felt my courage

A runnin’ down my leg.



"Now, Boy, take heed,

I know she didn't swaller

no watermelon seed."


Ma and Pa with his shotgun

the-shotgun-wedding-a-mini-epic-poem

Eyeballin’ down the barrel

Of the biggest gun I ever saw.

Man, I couldn’t quarrel

With this man’s rage.

He had me dead to rights,

And that set the stage.

Now me, I warn’t of age,

Don’t make no difference

When the laws a 12 gauge.






My wool gatherin’ was over

When McGruff barked

Quick as the roll in the clover.

“Young whelp, sure as I stand,

Gonna make an honest woman

Outa my Carrie Ann!”


"Git yo’ ass to the church,"

The mad man prodded.

I turned and run into a birch.

The tree banged my head

And scratched my face,

I wisht it’d killed me dead.

Shortest walk I ever took

Was eyein’ that parson

Holding the Holy Book.

Carrie Ann's purty enough to make a man lose his marbles

Carrie Ann's purty enough to make a man lose his marbles

Temptation’s ruined a many.

Lots of fellers succumb

To purty gals with plenty.

Carrie Ann sho’ has class;

Legs run from the ground

Plumb up to her ass.


Carrie Ann flat of her back

A smilin’ up at me

Lying on that haystack.

By then I was delirious,

I poked fun at her

And she took it serious.

Now she’s carrying my child

My freedom’s all gone

And her daddy’s gone wild.

Carrie Ann in her calico dress,

A bump in her belly

Her eyes red, hair a mess.

Her mama stood a glarin’

A hole through me

My wits was a rarin’.

She said, “Don’t you feel shame

For what you done?”

I said I didn’t feel no blame.

the-shotgun-wedding-a-mini-epic-poem

“Boy, don’t gimme no slack!”

I felt the cold steel

and I took my words back.

Beside her wuz two brothers,

Stupid Isaac and Newt

Don’t know ‘bout the others.

"Been caught by your sin,"

Newt growled and glared,

Isaac broke into a grin

Nobody wuz here for me.

Guess my Ma and Pa

they didn’t want to see

Their baby boy’s shame.

And Sis warn’t here

To call me a bad name.

Wouldn’t be no celebration,

Not even no shivaree

No moonshine libation

or fun at a barn dance.

I stood barefaced and

alone in my wet pants.


the-shotgun-wedding-a-mini-epic-poem
the-shotgun-wedding-a-mini-epic-poem


Parson began to speak,

My knees crumpled

And my body went weak.

"First comes the weddin,’"

The parson growled

"Then comes the beddin’"


"Boy, you got the cart

Afore the horse,"

I didn’t have the heart

To make things worsen

By makin' sass ‘cause

McGruff was still cursin’.

As I shook and said “I do,”

To make things right,

Carrie Ann mumbled it, too.


Now for the rest of my life,

I’ll be saddled with Carrie Ann

As my lawful wedded wife,

Payin' for what we'd done.

Just two dumb kids

Out havin' a little fun.



Hillbilly 10 Commandments

the-shotgun-wedding-a-mini-epic-poem

EPILOGUE


Forty years done gone by

I look at my Carrie Ann

I get light-headed and sigh.

Lookin’ back, what the Hell

We’ve had our ups ‘n down

Truth is, life's done gone well


Good Lord gave us ten kids

Nine of ‘em look like me

But I love ‘em all, you see

Don’t trouble me, understand

Oldest kinda resembles

The McGruff’s hired hand


Carrie Ann’s the best wife

Any man ever had

She’s made me a good life

The best thing, don’t ya see

A shotgun in my back

Made a real man outta me.



Shotgun Wedding by Roy C.

Shotgun Wedding by Jamie Lynn Spears

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That's all, y'all! There'll be more Ozark tales to come. We're full of 'em (or at least full of it!). So hang around for more!

And keep them comments a comin'. It's free verse, so please no critiquing my bad poetry.

Miz B.

===============================================================

And the law stands behind it!

I can't believe this! I found a couple of court cases in my state that uphold the marriage even if a man married a woman through fear of the consequences of seduction. Honnett v. Honnett, 33 Ark.156 (1878) and Marvin v. Marvin, 52 Ark. 425 12 S.W. 875 (1890) I guess that applies to shotguns, too.

Comments

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on April 13, 2017:

Nadine, I appreciate your reading and commenting. I'd hoped to get a few chuckles from it.

Nadine May from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa on April 12, 2017:

I smiled reading while your pictures made your poetic short story so real

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on August 23, 2016:

Vespa, thank you. I grew up with this colloquial speech, but my mama whacked me every time she caught me speaking it, LOL. It wouldn't have been the same without the local color.

Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on August 23, 2016:

What an interesting true life story that inspired this poem! You're so creative and I love your use of colloquial speech. This is hilarious!!

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on October 26, 2015:

Missy, we Southerners do have our ways, don't we? So glad I could give you a laugh today. It started out to be a three-stanza ditty, but I couldn't stop. Thank you for your great comment.

Missy Smith from Florida on October 26, 2015:

OH MY GOODNESS!!! I am so glad I picked this one to read today MizBeJabbers. I needed a laugh and I laughed out loud all the way through this one. Brilliant! Funny! I guess I could put LMAO, which means I laughed my ass off, or I was laughing my ass off. Anyway you put it, that's what I was doing while reading this. I'm a southerner, so you know I've heard plenty about those shotgun weddings. Maybe it should still be this way. :)

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on October 09, 2015:

Audrey, glad I could give you some smiles! Thank you.

Patricia, thanks for the comment, share and the angels.

Ladies, I'm always glad to hear from the both of you.

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on October 08, 2015:

O my ....the irony of fate!!!!

This is a goodie.....

shared g+ pinned and tweeted

Angels are on the way to you this evening ps

Audrey Howitt from California on October 08, 2015:

Oh this just made my afternoon! Smiles to you!!!

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on May 20, 2015:

Thank you, Larry, as a fellow Southerner, you probably know that these things really occurred.

Larry Rankin from Oklahoma on May 20, 2015:

Love the imagery and the depictions of the shotgun weddings were very entertaining.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on April 13, 2015:

Thank you, Lee. Now you know some history about folks who left Ireland and Scotland and came over here. LOL

Lee Cloak on April 12, 2015:

Very enjoyable piece, really different, a great piece of poetry, voted up, thanks, Lee

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on April 06, 2015:

Pre-matured wedding, pretty good ... I hadn't heard that. I've heard of a lot of 8 lb., seven-month babies, though. Thanks for reading and commenting.

peachy from Home Sweet Home on April 06, 2015:

funny poem, i thought your shot gun wedding in the one we used to say about pre matured wedding

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on March 20, 2015:

Thanks, Hannah, always glad to hear from writers in the U.K. We're just your country cousins over here, you know. That is if you want to claim us.

Hannah David Cini from Nottingham on March 20, 2015:

Great piece. Really made me chuckle and brightened up my morning. Thanks for sharing.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on February 06, 2015:

Thanks, so much, Suzanne. I'm not a poet, so that makes me feel very good.

Suzanne Day from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on February 06, 2015:

Great poetry, made me amused! I especially liked the courage running down his leg and the end too, where they were just two kids having fun and have to pay for it forever. It was good to have a bit of happily ever after in the epilogue. You definitely have a way with words and I've voted it awesome, because it's totally awesome!

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on February 06, 2015:

Thank you, DDE. Sometimes it takes me longer to find and select photos than it does to write the article.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on February 06, 2015:

Amazing! I like the photos and so greatly expressed.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on January 29, 2015:

Thank you for your beautiful comments.

manatita44 from london on January 29, 2015:

Yes, my Sweet,

So much colour in this wonderful Tapestry!

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on January 29, 2015:

Nell and Manatita, thanks for reading and commenting. Now you know how some of your country cousins in the USA have fared. LOL

manatita44 from london on January 29, 2015:

Very interesting story well told. Life itself is full of them.

Excellent poetic and narrative touch.

Nell Rose from England on January 28, 2015:

That was brilliant! LOL! I laughed all the way through it, and those pictures! LOL! wonderful stuff! thanks for the laugh!

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on January 27, 2015:

Trav, That's the reaction I'd hoped to get. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on January 27, 2015:

Thanks for the read and comment, Sandra. Glad you enjoyed it.

travmaj from australia on January 26, 2015:

Thoroughly enjoyed reading this - laughed out loud - loved the dialogue - most entertaining. Thank you MizBejabbers.

Sandra Joy Eastman from Robbinsdale MN on January 26, 2015:

Wonderful read and gave me a much needed smile. So enjoyed.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on January 26, 2015:

Dana, can't argue with that. There were a number of those in my day, and although most of them stayed married, there were quite a number, mostly men, having affairs 15 to 20 years later. Thank you for reading and commenting.

Dana Tate from LOS ANGELES on January 26, 2015:

Some people still believe that if shotgun weddings still existed you wouldn't have so many illegitimate babies running around. My grandparents were made to get married. They had nine children but he wasn't a very good husband. Some family members believe it was because he was made to marry her and didn't marry for love. I say if you play...you pay.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on January 26, 2015:

Ann, it is very easy for me because it is my native dialect. Really! Except that my parents reinforced the school marm when she taught me proper English. I wasn't allowed to speak like that at home. LOL Thanks for the read and the fun comment.

Ann Carr from SW England on January 26, 2015:

Brilliant! Loved the accent - not an easy thing to do well. You had me laughing and you had me serious.

Great poem and a great read.

Ann

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on January 26, 2015:

You're welcome.

John Hansen from Queensland Australia on January 26, 2015:

Thank for deleting my repeated comment MizB. Sometimes my computer or iPad freezes and you can't tell if a comment has been posted or not. It is possible I clicked "post comment" twice. When I realised time to edit was up.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on January 26, 2015:

Thank you, Shauna, you have such an impressive bio that I feel flattered to have such a great comment on something I admit I have limited ability to write (poetry).

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on January 26, 2015:

John, I'm so glad you like my vernacular humor. No, I don't think Louise is a member of HP. If she is, I think that she wouldn't know that I was writing about her. I try to keep my true identity hidden because of my job, and I don't believe that after all these years, she would recognize my photo. Thanks for the vote and I'm glad you like the songs. Your comment appeared twice, probably a computer glitch, so I'm going to deny the second one. I hope it doesn't mess up your first comment because we are having some internet problems.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on January 26, 2015:

Bill, thanks for the compliment, dear friend.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on January 26, 2015:

Miz B, I love this poem! You done tole the story right good! LOL

Louise's secret is out. Sure hope she doesn't read this!

I can't wait for more of your Ozark tales.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on January 26, 2015:

Thanks, Marcy, for the read and the comment. We were encouraged to submit our writing to magazines during our magazine writing class at school, but I just never have. That means a lot coming from you.

John Hansen from Queensland Australia on January 25, 2015:

Love your humour MizBejabbers, this poem is incredibly funny and well written, especially as it's based on fact :) Hope your friend Louise is not a member of Hub Pages. Great images and I like both versions of the song. Voted up.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on January 25, 2015:

What a great read...great humor...great lessons...so very well-written. Way to go, MizB. Talent cannot be contained.

Marcy Goodfleisch from Planet Earth on January 25, 2015:

This is fun, Miz B-J! You should submit some of your writing to literary magazines, too. This would be a fun short story, I think. Thanks for letting us read this one!

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on January 25, 2015:

Mel, hope you had as much fun reading it as I did writing it. Thanks for the read and comment.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on January 25, 2015:

Sallybea, that's why I called it a mini-epic, the words just kept coming. Those guys do look like real hicks, don' they? Thank you for the entertaining comment.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on January 25, 2015:

Faith, what do you mean I nailed the accent...that is my native accent. LOL I thought I would never lose it enough to do air work in my radio days. Anyway, glad I could entertain you this blustery afternoon, at least it is blustery here. Personally, I kind of like Roy C. He sounds more like us. Thanks for your kind comment, up & share et al.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on January 25, 2015:

Debra, thanks so much for your comment. I just hope I get by with some of it. Glad I could make you laugh. lol

Mel Carriere from San Diego California on January 25, 2015:

That was a delightful poem that gave me an unexpected Sunday afternoon laugh! Great hub!

Sally Gulbrandsen from Norfolk on January 25, 2015:

Gorgeous, you just have to love those images - those ears on those two guys are something and oh my goodness those words, they just keep coming - hilarious! You made my Sunday evening, thank you.

Sally

Faith Reaper from southern USA on January 25, 2015:

LOL, this is awesome, MizBejabbers! I truly enjoyed reading your Ozark tale in free verse. You nailed the accents too!

I like the Jamie Lynn Spears version better.

Up +++ tweeting, pinning, G+ and sharing

Brilliant!

Debra Allen from West By God on January 25, 2015:

Hahaha! I loved it, made me laugh and the pictures OMG!! Thanks for all of that!