Your Once-Almost Wife by Shoshauna Shy

On our anniversary weekend

you decide to detour

by the house of an ex-fiancée

who determined years ago

that apart was best, an assessment

you dittoed, so the story goes.

Turning south, then west, criss-

crossing again, you pause below

a fortress atop a steep ridge

built for a family of ten, veranda

a bower of some grand ship.

Would you have stayed if she did

I manage to ask, you for whom fidelity

is a custom fit, a coat of fur not shed

no matter the heat.

Rough waters, you admit. Always foam

and brine.  Neck craned, foot on brake

but no claim you were not willing

to keep hanging on, shove boulders

from her path with one hand.

Just that her ticket away

was the excuse of another man.

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Shoshauna Shy

Author of five collections of poetry, Shoshauna Shy’s poems have been published in journals, magazines, anthologies; inside taxis and community cars; as videos, and on the hind quarters of Madison Metro buses. She usually gets ideas for new poems while stuck doing something else.