Tannic Acid Sweetheart

by | Mar 30, 2023 | Poetry


I looked for you all over town this morning.
Stopped by Bells and Collins on the corner
of Main and Mill to see if you were there,
tucked between the piles of denim overalls.

But you weren’t. You weren’t even at the post office,
tearing off the one-cent stamps
people leave in the machine, or at the Golden Goat
selling aluminum cans by the pound.

I thought you might be in the park
eating salt-and-vinegar potato chips,
on a bench looking at children climb over
one another on the monkey bars.

I even figured you might have snuck once again
into the Baptist Church on Howard Street
to look at the green carpet in the sanctuary
and think about your mother.

I was glad when I found you in a corner booth
at Hardee’s, eating a sausage biscuit
left over from the breakfast shift,
sipping your cold coffee the color of river mud.

Photo by Richard Eriksson, used and adapted under CC.

About The Author


Donovan McAbee is a poet and essayist whose work has appeared in The New York Times, The Hudson Review, The Sun (US), The Poetry Review (UK), and a variety of other journals. His poetry chapbook, Sightings, was released in the Floodgate Poetry Series, Volume 7. His academic monograph, Charles Simic and the Poetics of Uncertainty, was published in 2020. Donovan lives in Nashville, Tennessee with his wife and their two children.