It began as easily
as the opening of a flower.
A parfait of feelings,
sticky confections
enjoyed together;
an ache in the marrow
when they were apart.
They went to dinner and films.
They danced at clubs and balls
dressed up in the costumes
of fairy tales.

Then came the camping trips,
and visits to theme parks.
And they got an apartment,
dividing rent, utilities,
groceries and chores.
Soon, they met the parents
with mock chastity,
sleeping in separate bedrooms.
It was a predictable dance.
Tacit understandings.
A diamond ring
to close the deal.

They sat together on the couch
in their bathrobes by the flatscreen TV.
Between them was a bowl of buttered popcorn
to share on movie night.
As he listens to Andy Dufresne and Red
talk about escaping from
Shawshank State Prison,
all he can think about
is how to say goodbye.

by William Ogden Haynes

William Ogden Haynes is a poet and author of short fiction from Alabama who was born in Michigan and grew up a military brat. His book of poetry entitled Points of Interest appeared in 2012 and is available on Amazon. He has published nearly forty poems and short stories in literary journals and his work has been anthologized multiple times. In a prior life he taught speech-language pathology at Auburn University and authored six major professional textbooks.

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