Photo of Betty at Mass Ave and Third

By Mark Kraushaar

Featured art by Auguste Rodin

We were happy, it’s true.
She had this zippy, kind of dithery inner gladness
and made a joke out of posing, hip-slung,
hands in the air, she had that pink top on.
Years later by the window near the stove
I watched her leaving in her blue Ford.
I made a drink and turned the TV down.

I opened the fridge and let it shut
then lay on the couch feet up
and watched our maple sway,
confiding, conspiratorial.
It was autumn.

It was early and as a taxi passed
I could hear the neighbor’s children
on their way to school.
I could see them shouting and shoving,
someone running ahead and I thought how easy
their lives must be, what a heaven of unconstraint.

It’s hard to know how to stand,
hard to know when to smile or when to be serious.
She had that zippy, kind of dithery inner gladness
and made a joke out of posing.
I’m different now.
She lives out east I think.
She had that pink top on.


Mark Kraushaar’s work has appeared in PloughsharesAGNI, and The Best American Poetry. His most recent collection is The Uncertainty Principle. It was published by Waywiser Press as winner of the Anthony Hecht Prize.

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