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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 began writing at the age of eight, was recruited by a muse in her early 40s and, since then, has since published five poetry collections and a wealth of award-winning fiction and nonfiction. Her poetry has been studied in classrooms, recited in church sermons, translated into Chinese, discussed by book clubs, made into videos, and produced inside taxi cabs and on the backside of city buses. Not a monogamous writer, Shoshauna works on as many as 7-11 projects at a time. The founder of Poetry Jumps Off the Shelf, she lives in Madison, Wisconsin.



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
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
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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