Back in Wichita - J. Fox Bedford

The woman the lineman loves
is safe somewhere in the 60’s.
She moves through the kitchen
the country station plays on her radio.
She looks out the window,
Water running over a soapy dish.
She watches for him,
ruffled curtains flutter in the breeze.

She wears a flowery print dress
From JC Penney on Main Street.
Hanging laundry she
Watches through wet shirts,
Flapping dry in the wind.
Fingers tighten on a clothespin,
Plucked from between full lips,
her chest rises quickly, someone’s coming,
Not him.

She brushes her forehead with a hand
Dusting it with flour,
Bread, cake, pies in the oven.
Church on Sundays, fried chicken in the afternoon.
The screen door creaks open
Slams shut.
She steps out, searches,
Dust on the horizon,
Not his truck.

A young girl grew up,
Grew old waiting,
left behind a dream
Somewhere in the 60’s.
The time already passed,
back in Wichita.

J. Fox Bedford is an award-winning author and active member of the San Antonio Writers Guild, taking 1st place in their 30th Annual Short Story Contest in 2023. She placed 4th in Mainstream/Literary Short Story in Writer’s Digest 92nd Annual Writing Competition, has poems published in Blue Villa and a short story to be published in Amarillo Bay in April. She lives in Texas with her husband and horses on a small ranch west of the Brazos River, where she writes fiction and poetry. The first in a four-book contemporary western romance series is planned for publication in early 2024. She welcomes you to visit her website at J Fox Bedford Books