How it Happened

Ann Marie Houghtailing
1 min readMay 8, 2023


I wanted what you wanted
Until we wanted different things

It turns out I’m no good at small talk
I prefer deep, muddy, messy talk
that takes place at kitchen tables and under the stars
late at night

I was starving all of the time
for poetry
and driving on dirt roads in search of old furniture

I remember
you held my naked feet in your lap
while I read poetry
and we were humbled and grateful for books
and average wine
and all of the gorgeous sentences we had yet to discover

Life got busier
and so noisy with small talk
at cocktail parties and barbecues
where no one discusses poetry

Now you count calories
and steps
and measure your sleep and breath
hoping to delay death
Not realizing that all this measuring is not a life
Did you learn nothing from Prufrock?

You can follow Ann marie Houghtailing’s visual work on Instagram at TrailsnotPaths



Ann Marie Houghtailing

Ann marie Houghtailing is the co founder of Story Imprinting, a communications firm that teaches clients the art and science of storytelling.