Delmarva Review: Looking Back by Helen Wickes

Looking Back
Sometimes it’s good to leave home if only
to remember who made you, where you’re from,
how you carry the scent of geranium and saddle soap,
hoof trimmings and mock orange—unbidden—as you slide
through another country, with its noises and flavors,
its precisions about gesture, what pasta tonight,
what subjunctive right now—essential encounters—

all astonishing, until missing my own people
avalanches down with a roar, grief burning to sorrow,
the days carry on, if you call it that, what remains—
sharp tang of small moments—how delicately she
eased her old dog out the door, how he wiped his face,
stomping snow from his shoes, out of hundreds
of unknowable people, lazily streaming all this Sunday
through Bologna’s huge piazza, it’s you we miss.

Ms. Wickes current poem, “Looking Back,” is one of three of her new poems selected for the 2015 edition (Vol. 8) of The Delmarva Review. The new edition contains the original literary work of 35 authors, selected from more than a thousand submissions. For more information about The Delmarva Review, including submissions, see the website:

Helen Wickes grew up in Chester County, Pennsylvania and now lives in Oakland, California. With a Ph.D. in psychology, she worked for many years as a psychotherapist. In 2002 she received an M.F.A. from Bennington College. Her first of four collections of poems, In Search of Landscape, was published in 2007 by Sixteen Rivers Press. In addition to the Delmarva Review,

Write a Letter to the Editor on this Article

We encourage readers to offer their point of view on this article by submitting the following form. Editing is sometimes necessary and is done at the discretion of the editorial staff.