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,
I could have asked for her number,
but thought “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 is a Breadloafer, won the 2019 New Millennium Award for Poem of the Year and is a finalist in the 2021 Midwest Review Great American Poetry Contest. He lives in Edmond, Oklahoma.