She said, what I want out of a book
is a couple of hours I don't have to work.
A gun and a gal, a good-natured pal,
A twisty plot that ends in a knot.
Prose neither muddly nor cuddly,
a mystery with a bit of history,
plausible characters in an exotic locale,
lots of romance, a soupçon of sex,
and a couple of conundrums
to keep my brain awake
(for a couple of hours)
while my body goes to sleep.
What I want looks like a saga but isn't that long,
sketching enough local folkways
so I learn something new
and can take my ingrained self
for a virtual walk in imagined woods,
to lead a life unlike my own, comprehensible,
orderly, even solvable, just slightly so --
the cozy story of a gun and a gal.