After you were a no-show,
I walked home in the dark.
As soon as you saw the time,
you ran to my front door.
There you stood and said sorry,
and I pronounced you forgiven.
Then you invited me out,
into the evening hours remaining,
but I had already changed,
into my blue flannel pajama bottoms,
with the this-way-and-that polar bear print,
and my gray long-sleeved T-shirt,
with NEBRASKA printed on the chest,
above the American flag.
When I said you are forgiven,
I meant I wouldn’t hold a grudge,
not that I had forgotten,
how it hurt to be forgotten by you.
I said I would see you tomorrow.
You said you didn’t feel forgiven.
I said that was on you.
The next day, my church friends took my side,
and said that I had done right,
that we would not be like our mothers,
that we would stand up for our selves,
that the men in our lives would respect us,
that we would give voice to our needs.
Later, when our eyes met at the conference,
you stuck out the tip of your tongue.
“Brat!” I smiled to myself.
That night I checked my inbox,
and read the poem you wrote,
“not rhyme nor reason”
with the deer
under the stars
and was filled
Currently, LA is an accountant at the University of Iowa. Before that, she was a seminary professor. Prior to that, she was a pastor. She moved to Iowa City, a UNESCO City of Literature, with her husband in June 2016 and started writing poetry soon afterwards. In order to learn this new craft, LA attends the Free Generative Writing Workshop and participates in local poetry readings. Her poems have appeared in the Moon Zine, Poetry in Public, Cedar Valley Divide, The Write Launch, and Tiferet.