Courting by David Huddle

When a man loves a woman in Glory
River, she runs like fire if she knows what’s
good for her — & most don’t, we admit that much —
because any boy grows up here gets Ugly

for his middle name.  Our boys don’t know how
to take a girl to Hester’s Drive-in & hold
her hand or call her up & tell her she’s
pretty or just plant a soft little kiss

right below her earlobe — that’s not the way
we do it.  We take her for a ride & jack
the truck up to a hundred, scare a cold sweat
out of her, then run a hand up her skirt

& get slapped good.  Timing’s got to be exact.
Look at that moon, we say in dulcet tones,
jerking a thumb — Got my guitar in the back.
Thought maybe you’d like to hear some George Jones.


David Huddle hails from Southwest Virginia but hides out in Vermont.  His awards for poetry and fiction are legion, and he is one of Shenandoah‘s favorite authors.  The fall, 2015 retrospective issue (2 Decades of Serioous Mischief) will include his work, and the spring, 2016 issue will feature a new story by David.

(“Courting” was first published in Shenandoah Volume 56, No. 2/ Fall, 2006)

Okay, maybe not a drive-in, but a drive and timing and “dulcet tones.”  Sometimes it all works out.




recent-meR. T. Smith has edited Shenandoah since 1995 and serves as Writer-in-Residence at Washington & Lee. His forthcoming books are Doves in Flight: 13 Fictions and Summoning Shades: New Poems, both due in 2017.