barry basden




I never knew how to love him, I guess--
whatever it was he wanted from me
I couldn't give. There, I've said it.

Our bed turned slowly into a stone slab.
The night he told me he was leaving,
we were talking calmly about it and the
next thing I knew
I was on the floor in front of the sofa,
looking up at him as he sat there, not moving.

I wanted to hug his knees,
lay my head in his lap
but somehow I couldn't.

Only my hand reached out and
took hold of his pant leg;
I stared into his quiet, sad face
until my eyes blurred and
tears ran down my cheeks.

I'll do anything, I said.
Tell me what you want.

He could not and
I felt chilled beyond cold,
frozen in that moment.

Barry Basden lives in the Texas hill country with his wife and two yellow Labs. He writes mostly short pieces these days. Some have been published in various online and print venues. Some have not. He edits Camroc Press Review at


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take me home