Jim McCurry currently resides in Galesburg, Illinois. He received his M.A. in creative writing from Colorado State Univ. Recent publications include Annetna Nepo, Muse Apprentice Guild and Rio. Other publications in Alba, Big City Lit, Cyber Oasis, Drought, Eleven Bulls, Fish Drum, Identity Theory, Tryst, Niederngasse, Poets Against the War, Snow Monkey Press, Zacatecas Review and Zuzu's Petals Quarterly. Earlier credits include Quarterly West and Writer's Forum (Gerard Manley Hopkins Prize, 1999). He's taught at Carl Sandburg College in philosophy and poetry since 1980, and has a PhD from the University of Denver.

A Western Love Song

At a retirement banquet last week I was seated next to my
ex-‘s sister and brother-in-law. (Ex-girl friend’s, that
is; we never got hitched, hence never divorced,) And my
ex‘s name never come up. Not once.

We talked about lawn mowing. Here in the Midwest, I said,
we can rhyme divorce, worse, and wash. Well, almost, says
my almost brother-in-law.

I eat of the blackened salmon, we talk about the kids, more
lawn mowing. I told my almost sister and almost brother-in-
law I was about to start lifting weights, pedaling on a
stationary bicycle machine. I seem to be almost a
columnist, said I, but being Midwestern, I can’t get
my tenses right. And I’m too fat.

Yes, says my sister, a columnist should not be fat. My
brother concurs.