The phrase “go go days” is
inviting even if it’s, mostly,
fallen out of use, but springs
from its seed pod into open
air where I’m still struggling
with harsh words lobbed in
the meeting and later wait
for the wait to be over when
the next big thing will thrust
on the scene somehow
superimposed on what I
call real. I wonder if it is.
I text you these words they reveal
what I’m thinking (or is it feeling?) you
are likely emerging from work grit
blown in your face breathing exhaust you walk
with your usual purpose which means
like me you overlook so much eyes roving
your curves a flimflam trying again
the good right hand knowledgeable from use
I want to focus on how you are now
the image of you I hold in my thoughts
you occupy my mind
I bear scars from what happened before
but today the sky is open as if a
storm passed leaving the way open
for brighter refreshments a new music
starts up my soul begins to soar
farmland crowds so close you can see it
from downtown not m any decided to live
here so truth remains undisturbed along barbed
wire fences dirt roads it’s hard to
to catch it in my silly netting I end up
with shards windblown glints
I keep visualizing what we could be doing
to each other for each other
in these little instances maybe
some dreams will come true
yet even if we return to these lines it won’t
be the same can never be
the same with each passing moment
they separate further from us
leaving us alone on a vast plain
which makes me sad I know I’m meant
to be alone some of the time
but being with others seems natural
and intrinsic to life so let’s be together
while we can there’s lots of time
to be alone think of the dead
they show us what loneliness is.
Ranch House Days
Good bye main road.
You’re traffic was enthralling,
but I’ve got to think on my own
for once, I’ll see you later – which
seems right to me now.
Sometimes you have to look out from your own porch
even if at the time it seems like you are wasting time.
After she hit the jackpot at the casino
she looked back and wondered if this is as good as it gets.
Disappointment arrives in so many flavors
which keeps us on our toes:
the missive arrives about our oeuvre ,
not meant to be harsh,
but then again. . .
And if I kept longing for you
after you moved away,
the distance having grown usual,
like a gargantuan silence that becomes
like a perfect friend, taking and not pushing back,
can’t I finally get it right for once.
After my soiree in town
where I saw that fetching woman
and could have asked for her number,
but think “Why should I?”
I mean, it always ends in tragedy
I come back to my place.
I like it here. I can mow fields,
paint rooms, find my way to the creek
where water held underground
springs into light.
Dale Cottingham is of mixed race, part Choctaw, part White. He won the 2019 New Millennium Award for Poem of the Year and was a finalist in the 2021 Great Midwest Poetry Contest.