The Cursed Gift

Some say our days are numbered, with time of death written in stone,
While others claim to have free will, where each outcome is unknown;
But hear now the fateful tale of Jack Miller, who was given a dire prize,
He got to see his pending future, conjured up before his very own eyes.

He'd stopped by the local newsstand, on his way to work that day,
At first he didn't catch the meaning, of what the headlines had to say;
A prominent man of wealth, had discovered his wife of many years,
Murdered by an unknown, left in a pool of blood and sweat and tears.

But then upon closer inspection, he felt his poor heart skip a beat,
Tears welled up in his eyes, and his face burned with angry heat;
The woman was his own wife, the one he had kissed just an hour before,
And told him how much she loved him, just before she closed the door.

Yet how could this possibly be right, something had gone terribly awry,
They called her an unfaithful spouse, their marriage no more than a lie;
She'd gone to a five star hotel, to rendezvous with some other man,
Signed the register Mr. & Mrs. Smith, all part of her adulterous plan.

His eye was suddenly drawn to the date, and he stared in disbelief,
The paper was tomorrow's edition, and for a moment he felt relief;
There was still time to stop this tragedy, to change the play on stage,
And avert the tarnish to his name, and rewrite this horrific page.

The world become distorted, as his indignation burned without restraint,
Deciding if she had to die, it would be without this faithless taint;
He quickly swung by his office, where in his desk drawer he kept a gun,
His secretary said he had important messages, but he said he had to run.

He went straight to the hotel, and waited for his treacherous wife to arrive,
No one cheating on Jack Miller, should expect to get out of this act alive;
So the moment she got settled in, but before she could turn down the bed,
Jack lightly knocked on the door, and then put a bullet through her head.

Indifferently he returned to his office, and casually started his day,
Then called in his secretary, to get those messages out of the way;
Most were the usual routine, but on the last one his blood ran cold,
It was a request from his wife, to for once put his busy life on hold.

She'd meet him at a new grand hotel, where they could have an affair,
To spice up their melancholy marriage, and to give it back some flare;
Finally it began to slowly sink in, her unknown lover was he, Jack Miller,
And his fateful glimpse of the near future, had made him her very killer.

Had he not seen tomorrow's paper, and simply had gone along his way,
Chances are things would have worked out, and be at work another day;
Yet the question still goes unanswered, from time immemorial and still,
Are our paths pre-determined by design, or can we exercise free-will?

In this case of poor Jack Miller, who got to see a foreshadow of his life,
He had the right to choose a fate, yet the result was the same for his wife;
For knowing the future can be a great gift, if taken with a grain of salt,
Yet be warned more often it is a curse, and is naturally evil by default.

    For Sam... who got an 'A' on her report


© January 2001 (revised May 2003)