A Small Town

This town where my wife and I have made a life
is the largest I’ve lived in. For her
it is the smallest. In her old city shopping
was anonymous. She bought wine at warehouses.
Since moving here, she dresses for the grocery store
prepared to meet neighbors. Co-workers will want to compare
produce. The full-time greeter wears his apron over his winter
jacket and knows her name. Sometimes, my wife sends me.
I complain about the traffic in this town,
mostly drivers from the rural counties
who don’t do well with the turning lanes
at the mall. I rarely use the horn, but
if I drove a ’74 Ford Galaxie I would hold tight
to my lane, actualize my right of way and use
the sharp smack of my fender into the other driver’s
door as food for thought the next time he
comes to the big city. But my car is new.
To be safe, I allow time.
There is no mass transit, no Red Line or even taxis.
There is always a parking space
a block away from the restaurant, and we arrive
early. We contend the term “city.”
She says we live in the country. To be fair
I pass a small acreage on my way to work
where each morning four horses and two donkeys graze.
Most days they mingle. On others, my wife reports
when she arrives home from work, the donkeys decide
they’re done with the horses and their superior airs. They gather
on their own like two church gossips, across the field.



Jeff Nesheim is a poet living and writing in Denver, CO, with an MFA from Bennington College. He’s lived in South Dakota, Wyoming, Minnesota, Nebraska, Texas, Iowa and Colorado. Jeff has worked in student affairs at several large universities, in educational technology, as a software developer, as executive at a large nonprofit assessment company and currently leads IT at a large community college. His poems have most recently appeared in the journals Big Muddy, Straight Forward, GFT Presents, Ground Fresh Thursday and Evening Street Review.




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