She Doesn’t Like Goodbye


She doesn’t like goodbye.
Scared to death of it she is.
Don’t ask why, she’s not talking.
Won’t even admit
to knowing the word.

Instead, she wants something…
Less permanent.
Something palatable
she can still hang on to, or bite in to,
like: so long, or see you, or call me,
but not tomorrow or for a while.

When I was a boy, my dog got hit good.
I carried him with tears up my driveway
and around back of my father’s woodshed.
Laid him down, his busted head disturbing the untouched snow.
With blood and accusation he whined: What did I do?
One eye watched, one ear bled, one paw scratched.
But I closed that eye with a single shot from my father’s .22,
didn’t even think twice.
Dog knew it was coming and so did I
didn’t need goodbye to tell us that.

I waited up for her, watching with my ears
for her crunching tires eating up the driveway snow.
Made her tea past midnight, waiting for her to repeat
what Neil Young had whispered earlier
with the soft melody of an acoustic guitar.

Asked me to write her a poem called I Don’t Know.
She always says “I don’t know” when she lies,
gives her away every time.
Said I would and tried, but discovered “I don’t know”
was poem enough.

Once, when I was no longer a boy yet still not a man,
I fell in love with a girl who fell in bed with a friend.
It was late and cold and through fogged windows
I could hardly see their heads mashing in the back seat.
I didn’t have my fathers woodshed, or his .22,
but I did know how my dog must have felt,
all broken and betrayed in the February snow.
The door swung wide, her bare breast cupped in his hand,
the stereo competing with the heater,
and I knew what was coming.
Her eyes caught mine with a lie too big for their sockets,
and mine stared back with teardrops full of truth
didn’t need goodbye to tell us that.

Talking, talking, and some tears too.
Hate when she cries, love when she laughs.
Always had a way to make her laugh – not anymore though.
Put my heart into us, took a chance,
but she never did get it.

Wrote a poem, gave it to her. No good-byes in it,
only big dreams, always big dreams – used “Love” twice.
She folded it neatly and forgot to take it.
I hugged her gently and forgot why she was here.

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5 Responses to She Doesn’t Like Goodbye

  1. Pingback: Barn Window & Dragon Fly « the lazy photographer

    • davecandoit says:

      Thank you soooo much. This is perhaps the most personal thing I’ve ever written. The woman it is about is the one true love of my life, who got away. Almost all of the poem is true, except the part about the boy and the dog, ironically.

  2. … read this just a little while ago and it hit me slam in the middle of the eyes. The part about the boy and the dog and the shotgun. Whew! Had to come back to comment.

  3. y says:

    (laugh)

    Instead, she wants something…
    Less permanent.
    Something palatable
    she can still hang on to, or bite in to,
    like: so long, or see you, or call me,
    but not tomorrow or for a while.

    oh my!! no comment…(smile)

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