• Fairy Tale with Ex-Wife

    Andrew Hudgins

    Summer 2008

    After thirty suspect miles, I called,
    a rusty PURE sign creaking overhead,
    and we were right: we were wrong.
    The sign had been a sign, we sighed sourly,
    as the storm we were trying to beat
    beat down on us. By the time we slid, white-faced,
    into the gravel drive of the fix-it shop,
    the icy trees burned with horizontal light
    amplified over fields of sleet.

    The used TV couldn’t get a signal
    out here, the woman said, but it worked fine,
    and we could always bring it back. All night
    we huddled in our coats on the shop’s gold shag
    and shivered underneath a brown plaid blanket.
    At eight she handed us a pot of watery lentils,
    spiked with small twigs, maybe rosemary—
    we didn’t know. You looked at me and said,
    “Hansel.” “Gretel,” I chuckled drowsily.

    At dawn we skittered to the interstate,
    and at a Waffle House split a scrambled egg
    till the road cleared or we thought it had.
    and drank, for almost an hour, our bottomless cup.

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