She Ain’t Going Out Like That

The radio
starts playing
a song about
the farmers

I laugh and
it brings forth
your ghost
(you always
loved the way
I laughed).

I wonder
out loud
where you
have been
and why
you are
here now.

Why I am
still listening
to country
music after
all this time.

You were first.
You’ll never be
anyone else
and no one else
could ever take
your place.

The radio
starts playing
a song about
that red dress.

And I laugh.
Sing along.
My father is still mad at me, 17 years later, for getting my mother into country music thanks to the boy I was dating. A habit I still haven’t broken. I don’t know why. It’s almost every time a song comes on that I think of him, lately. Why would a person want that? Absence does make the heart grow fonder. It’s been long enough now that I just think of him in the good moments. Thank him silently for the foundation he built (I reserve a little vinegar for the bad bits, don’t get me wrong. I’m a poet, after all).

He had his faults but he knew how to make me feel like the only woman in the world. That’s saying something. And worth writing down. Not for him, but for me. To know that I’m worthy of that, even now.


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