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The Story
Shoshauna Shy


Just leaning toward someone is part of the story
  —William Stafford

But that’s not where it begins.
It begins before the corduroy
jacket on loan. Before tracks

through snow to an unlit house.
The dust of blue chalk and crack
of pool balls. Archie Bell & the
Drells on the radio at three AM.
It begins before the scent of Old
Spice through the window of a car
with Kentucky plates. Before
a southerly wind pushing an
empty porch swing. A Hershey bar
broken into thirds. A deck of cards
shuffled on August afternoons. 
But even before that. Before a boot
comes loose at the sledding hill.
Buffalo nickels traded palm to palm.
Crawling through a field after
the other side wins. That’s when
it begins. Long before sprawling
on the floor to watch Hitchcock.
Way before you place your leg
gently on mine.

This poem first appeared in Eclectica and Verse Wisconsin.
Used here with the author’s permission.



Shoshauna Shy reads short stories to trigger ideas for poetry, and is the author of four poetry collections. She runs the Poetry Jumps Off the Shelf program out of Madison, Wisconsin, and works for the Wisconsin Humanities Council. She also has a cat care business, which lends itself to quiet time for reading and writing.



Post New Comment:
Shoshauna Shy:
Thank you, everyone, for reading, and for your comments. It's nice to find out what resonates with readers, and in what way.
Posted 02/07/2016 11:28 AM
Beautifully crafted, Shoshauna!
Posted 02/06/2016 12:17 PM
Mary Lou Taylor:
Takes me back to my first glimpse of the boy who will be my lifetime companion. All of us who love poetry could write a poem like this, perhaps not quite so poignant.
Posted 02/05/2016 06:54 PM
So...real. Brings back the personal Moments we humans all share, beautifully written ~
Posted 02/05/2016 02:16 PM
All the authentic details, the way everything adds up to "this moment." How I love this poem!
Posted 02/05/2016 01:29 PM
More wonderful poems from Wisconsin.
Posted 02/05/2016 11:54 AM
Lori Levy:
Beautiful poem! Love the details.
Posted 02/05/2016 11:37 AM
Love every authentic detail in this poem. I especially enjoy the balance of things like the porch swing vs. the "crack of pool balls." It is BEAUTIFUL, real and true. Makes me grateful for the love in my life.
Posted 02/05/2016 11:15 AM
Lovely and true..Sharon Auberle
Posted 02/05/2016 09:35 AM
Personal reflection. Nice.
Posted 02/05/2016 08:38 AM
great nostalgic poem! Janice
Posted 02/05/2016 08:21 AM
Love the accumulation of details and images in this. They build to a beautiful closing line.
Posted 02/05/2016 07:09 AM
I was pulled in at the first line - even though I skipped over the epigraph. Every line rings true.
Posted 02/05/2016 05:49 AM
Wonderful detail. How the moments of a life add up to a life.
Posted 02/05/2016 05:18 AM

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