Miss Elizabeth Said "Oh Yeah"

W. Todd Kaneko


There are so many ways a man can go
wrong when he wears a cowboy hat,
so many fights he can lose
without the right woman
on his shoulder. I saw the Macho Man
that first night he retired, that night
Miss Elizabeth returned to him.
When I was younger, it was plain
to see—men and women came
together to be separated. My mother
and father fought every night
until she moved to San Francisco to live
with some other family. My father has been
alone for decades now that I am grown
with a marriage of my own.
But that night, the Macho Man
hoisted Miss Elizabeth up and held her
high for the world to see her wet
eyes and faultless smile. Divorce
would claim them too—years later
she would be flooded with painkillers
and vodka in another man's house,
but that night she stood on television,
the Macho Man on one knee with that ring
glittering in his fist as the world
waited to hear how she answered.