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The Last Evening of Molly Malone

by Steven D. Bennett

A middle-aged woman named Molly Malone
decided to spend an evening alone,
sorting out papers as she sat at her desk,
thinking tonight she would get little rest.

She had to look through all the letters she’d found
in her husband’s bedroom, when he wasn’t around,
which spoke of a love he never had known
with his wife, but at last he had finally been shown.

And then she would tackle the figures and facts;
it seemed her accountant was deducting his tax
from her company’s profits, which had grown to a size
they were there for the taking, to his tempted eyes.

A card from her lover, upset by her note:
“Going back with my husband,” was all she had wrote.
But he had had trouble with what he had read,
said he’d never allow it, she’d be better off dead.

And lastly, more bills from her step-son, the bum.
Reckless driving had driven up quite a large sum,
which she’d have paid gladly if respect he had lent,
but all she received in return was contempt.

As she heard the housekeeper, downstairs in the parlor,
cleaning, as always, with little known ardor,
Molly read on all the words of her life.
She never expected the one with the knife.

The housekeeper found her next morning, quite dead,
the knife still imbedded at the base of her head.
The constables quickly arrived on the scene
hoping no one had wiped any fingerprints clean.

They cordoned and questioned, searched all around,
and after it all this is what they had found:
Poor Molly was murdered by person(s) unknown,
at 10 p.m., in her study, alone.

The husband considered what Molly had found
then freely admitted he’d been sleeping around.
But he swore up and down he’d agreed with his wife
they would both discard lovers and begin a new life.
So he’d gone to his lover (whom he would not name)
to say things between them could not stay the same.

The nervous housekeeper, full of jitters and fright,
said she hadn’t heard anything strange the whole night.
The master had gone after dinner was done
and hadn’t returned home until quarter of one.
She had finished the cleaning, watched tv, had a snack,
then locked all the doors in the front and the back.

The step-son was viewed as an unbalanced type
who claimed he’d been cramming with friends all that night.
That was confirmed, but it wasn’t denied
it was by his own knife that poor Molly had died.
It seemed it was part of his rare knife collection,
the only one taken from that fine selection.

Molly’s accountant said he had been framed.
The books were in order and yet he’d been blamed.
Yes, she had told him that he would be fired,
but just two days later had his services hired.
Besides, he was busy the evening before,
dining with clients, until 11, or more.

Lastly, her lover was questioned and he
admitted on having the home’s extra key.
He had been jealous and mad, it was true,
but resigned himself that he and Molly were through.
“Where were you–?” was asked. “At work,” came his answer,
“at the Pink Palace where I’m a male dancer.”

The constables couldn’t make sense of the mess.
Who had killed Molly was anyone’s guess.
But one little clue finally made them decide:
Out of all of the facts there was one little lie.

Stop! Who lied? Who killed Molly? Only one lie has been told.

The housekeeper was the only one who had lied,
and if it wasn’t for her, Molly mightn’t have died.
See, the husband was busy, ’twas true, with his mistress;
the accountant was dining, as said, for his business;
the stepson, with friends at his studying meeting;
the lover was getting bills stuffed down his g-string.

The housekeeper said that the master had gone
which was true right enough, but he wasn’t gone long.
The master had gone to his mistress, said he,
but neglected to mention the housekeeper was she.
And true, he wished to leave his lover,
to begin a new life with the other.
Again, neglectful, he meant the new life
would be with his mistress and not with his wife.

So the she-to-be left an open door
for the ‘he’ to finish the awful chore.
The ‘he’ went up while the ‘she’ cleaned down,
he stole a knife and without a sound
crept up to the she-that-was, once held dear;
he drove home his message, the point being clear.

Alas, the police, when the facts came to light,
had them arrested and set justice right.
So the moral is this, when you find your life dull
and temptation advises you out of your lull:
If you crave excitement and want to play house
you’d better make sure that you play with your spouse.

Copyright © 2009 by Steven D. Bennett

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