Loretta’s Not Here This Summer,

or She Met a Man




Loretta is prettier than usual.

Sixty eight, anyone would say

she’s very pretty. Hair swings like

a high school girl. Even her color

is good. Brown that everyone tries for.

Eyes bright blue, loose Indian Kurta shirts

toes painted red

she always looks ready

still it’s taken her three years

since Will died suddenly

three years of intense

going online

Plenty of Fish her favorite site

although she said there weren’t.

Loretta said she mostly throws them back in.

A few were married and didn’t tell her. Fish

number 58 the right one, finally.

He wore cowboy boots on their first date.

Wanted her to meet him in a parking lot

of a shopping mall just an hour away.

She was suspicious. Couldn’t they at least meet

at Dunkin Donuts, a bar, even one of those diners

on the highway? She knew he had his reasons. He

had it in his head that they would walk through

the door together their very first door of an Italian

restaurant in the mall. She calls hi Tex behind his back.

His name is Ed. She invited her book group

we talked more about her dates

for three years than any one book

to their wedding. Now we’ll have to spend

more time just reading.

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