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Contributor: Andrew Hubbard

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He was a boy
When I knew him then,
Just started shaving
Cheap clothes, bit his nails.

He couldn’t take his eyes off me
And I’d stare at him
To watch him look away and flush.

It was a game
And I was proud in a way
To have that power
But if you want to know the truth
He was a little beneath me,
And there was another boy
Who had a blue pick-up truck.

Then he moved out of state
And I moved out of state.
He went to college somewhere
And I went to cosmetology school.

I married Mark
And then the babies came.
All but one were Mark’s
And I honestly loved them
But a lot of time
I just wanted to hold my head
And scream. Mark, he worked
As hard as he could,
I’ll give him that,
And he got us by
But nothing more than that.

And then, oh my God, the kids
Were in high school when he called.
He was going to be in my little town
On a campaign stop and wanted to see me.

I said no. He called again,
I said I had a conflict
And that was true in a way.

He called again, and I agreed
To meet him, and I meant it.

I worried for a week what to wear
And when the day came
I just couldn’t do it.

I no-showed on him
And I’ve never been so ashamed.

I almost never drink,
But I got into Mark’s beer
As soon as the kids were off to school
And spent most of the afternoon
On the toilet peeing and peeing.

That night I threw up on the pillow.
Mark asked what was wrong
And what the hell was I supposed to say…

That I couldn’t let him see
The purple veins on my thighs,
The cover-up that doesn’t?

My friends say I’m still pretty
But I say the same to them.
I’m lying, and I’m pretty sure
They are too. No,
I just couldn’t do it.

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Andrew Hubbard was born and raised in a coastal Maine fishing village. He received degrees in English and Creative writing from Dartmouth College and Columbia University.


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