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Poetry

Eric Paul Shaffer

Eric Paul Shaffer--Issue 72Eric Paul Shaffer is author of seven books of poetry: Even Further West; A Million-Dollar Bill; Lāhaina Noon; Portable Planet; Living at the Monastery, Working in the Kitchen; Rattle Snake Rider; and Kindling: Poems from Two Poets. More than 500 of his poems have been published in 250 national venues, including Chiron Review, North American Review, Ploughshares, Rattle, Slant, Slate, Spillway, The Sun Magazine and in international reviews in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Nicaragua, and Japan.

Buying Toothpaste on Our Twenty-Fifth Wedding Anniversary

Last night, I parked the car a little too far from the restaurant.
The sky was gray, and a few drops tapped me on the shoulder.

What was above us had my attention, so we walked a swift block
and were seated beside the storm. We toasted twenty-five years,
taking turns, one memory at a time. The wine was clear

enough that we saw days we hadn’t remembered for decades.
Long silver streaks of lone raindrops beaded the glass,
but there was no shower, and after dinner, there was coffee

and cheesecake, and talk about our day together, bills, poems,
vacuuming, and the shopping list. When we left, we walked
to Long’s Drugstore to buy toothpaste, sunglasses, and a late

birthday card. The clouds were gone. The night was deep.
We held hands. The stars shone over us and all the others we love.
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