She’s been gone nearly two years, but not gone enough.
I just started my woodstove with a few of her letters,
even though I had plenty of old, unread newspapers around.
I’d forgotten how poorly she writes...as if neat handwriting
can make up for poor grammar and spelling.
I still can’t listen to Zeppelin.
That cover band playing the night we met at the Moose lodge sucked,
but, by the way she danced, you would have thought Robert Plant himself was there.
She’d put her hands in the air, slowly twirl, snap her fingers every fourth beat or so,
and shake that pretty little ass double time.
She never looked right at people when she danced, almost afraid they weren’t looking.
They were. I was.
She has ruined every attempt I’ve made for a fun solo day drunk for the last two years,
and I’ve tried a lot.
Never fails. I start out as happy as can be.
Then, six or eight beers in, thoughts of her come knocking.
It’s usually about some big argument we had, which she was so wrong about.
By sundown, I’m either crying or mad as hell,
punching and kicking that stupid teddy bear she got me for Christmas.
I knew it was over when I got her eight presents that year and she only got me that.
I’m trying not to hate her because I’m practicing becoming a partial Buddhist.
Do we really have to love creatures like chiggers and ground hornets?
I think if she dumps that dork she has now and comes crawling to me,
I’ll make her pine for a day or so before I take her back.
Nah, she’s gone for good,
but not nearly gone enough
PATRICK CHEWNING, a lifelong resident of Virginia's Shenandoah Valley, is an avid hunter, fisherman, and gatherer of wild table fare. He has been a Hospice nurse for 22 years and also sells real estate to support his passion for travel to wild places. He only recently published his first chapbook, but has enjoyed writing poetry for as long as he can remember.