Self Trust

by Tom Swift

Ed was in love with a cocktail waitress,
but Ed’s family, and his friends,
didn’t approve. So he broke it off.

He married a respectable woman
who played the piano. She played well enough
to have been a professional.

Ed’s wife left him …
Years later, at a family gathering,
Ed got drunk and made a fool of himself.

He said, “I should have married Doreen.”
“Well,” they said, “why didn’t you?”

-Louis Simpson, “Ed,” The Owner of the House: New and Collected Poems (2003)