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  You could have a big dipper   

Looking for Ohio by Lou Ventura

We left for Cleveland in a driving snow

all cars following the tire tracks left behind –

six inches and rising.

You said Ohio was beautiful and wanted to stay,

but I said it was only Route 90, and Ohio didn’t

start until morning.

So we stopped at a motel without an address,

and I realized it wasn’t me you loved

but that fuzzy velvet portrait of Elvis

hanging above the bed,

just like the one in the hallway of your

apartment back home,

the one left by your former roommate

who decided to move in with the bouncer

at the bar you lived above,

the place with the big salty pretzels I would dip

in a mixture of horseradish and mustard

the same color as the wallpaper in that motel room

when we never made it to Ohio,

the place where I finally realized

that it was those pretzels I loved, not you.


Lou Ventura lives in Olean, New York and has been a secondary school English teacher for 35 years. His first poetry collection, Bones So Close to Telling, has recently been accepted for publication by Foothills Publishing.

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