Summer 1996 • Vol. XVIII No. 3/4 PoetryJuly 1, 1996 |

If Ever There Was One

She could tell he loved her. He wanted her there sitting in the front pew when he preached. He liked to watch her putting up her hair and ate whatever she cooked and never broached   the subject of the years before they met. He was thoughtful always. He let her say whether or not they did anything in bed and tried to learn the games she tried to play.   She could tell how deep his feeling ran. He liked to say her name and bought her stuff for no good reason. He was a gentle man. How few there are she knew well enough. |   He sometimes reached to flick away a speck of something on her clothes and didn't drum his fingers on the table when she spoke. What would he do if he knew she had a dream   sometimes, slipping out of her nightgown— if ever God forbid he really knew her— to slip once out of the house and across town and find someone to talk dirty to her.

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Miller Williams was author, editor, or translator of twenty-eight books, including twelve volumes of poetry. He was widely recognized with national and international awards and with two honorary degrees and was inaugural poet for the second inauguration of President Clinton. Recent books of poetry include Living on the Surface: New and Selected Poems (LSU Press), Adjusting to the Light (University of Missouri Press), and Points of Departure and The Ways We Touch (both from University of Illinois Press).

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