Love Is Like Arkansas

Photograph by Jose Padua
Love is like Arkansas,
a little bit backward sometimes.
The best days are slow, simple,
like white rice and black beans
on a paper plate for lunch.
The worst are when you can’t
understand what the other
is saying: a seed from a southern
cypress fallen too far from the stream,
a woman in a beige dress too sure of herself
yelling at a woman in a white dress,
less sure, but standing tall and walking on.
It’s the certainty that ails us,
the thing we know we know when we don’t,
the river that runs away from us
to the north where it’s cold and dark and muddy.
Love is the loving of the doubt,
of what’s wrong as much as what’s right,
that wrinkle, that gray, that blemish
that mellows, even blossoms
in the soft, early evening light.

-Jose Padua

Photograph by Jose Padua


2 responses to “Love Is Like Arkansas

  1. Dear Jose,

    I finally subscribed to your blog after way too long and now I look forward to receiving it every time it comes out. I just wanted to tell you that your poems move me so much. This one, “Love is Like Arkansas,” is simply stunning. And your photographs are just pure, that’s the word for me.

    Thank you, Jose and Heather, for gracing this town with your presence and poetry. It’s a strange little place but it isn’t trying to be anything that it isn’t which is refreshing. If you even come out with a poetry book (please do!) I will buy a case of them.

    Always, JoEllen (McNeal)

    Sent from my iPad

    • shenandoahbreakdown

      ah, thanks, JoEllen! And of course, we’re glad folks like you are here to balance out the strangeness. We’ll all have to get together sometime, it’s been too long!

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