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Eric Chandler

What Do You Do?

Elbows on the bar
in hot southern Spain.
On the way to
embrace the pain.

I’ve got two kids.
His child is new.
“It’s really tough.
What do you do?”

When I leave the house
and tell them goodbye,
I’m completely sure
I’m going to die.

I make my peace
and set them free.
It might not for you,
but it works for me.

Eric “Shmo” Chandler is a husband, father, veteran, and pilot who cross-country skis as fast as he can in Duluth, Minnesota. His poetry has appeared in Grey Sparrow Journal, The Talking Stick, The Thunderbird Review, O-Dark-Thirty, Line of Advance, PRØOF Magazine, Ash & Bones, and Aqueous Magazine. He won Honorable Mention for Poetry from The Talking Stick (Vol. 22). He won the 2016 Col. Darron L. Wright Award for Poetry from Line of Advance. He’s a member of Lake Superior Writers, the Outdoor Writers Association of America, and an Associate Member of the Military Writers Guild. Visit for links to his published fiction, nonfiction, books, and poetry.

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