Author’s Note: “When a significant relationship ends painfully, we often find ourselves rehashing the turning points, the decisions, the regrets. With the repetition of “when, then, that,” I hope to create an unsettling and even ominous litany that will evoke the human tendency to torture ourselves with unwelcome memories and afterthoughts.”
That time I saw you on Bramble Causeway, and then we married
That time I realized how much you drank every day
That time I told you your new blue blazer looked cheap
Then that time the dog and I almost stepped on a copperhead
That time you yelled that awful word at me
That day I moved out
when we held onto each other on the stairs
That time a garter snake slipped past the dog and me
That time you had a gun
Then that unbearable time
when the dog and I still smelled your cigarette smoke everywhere
That time I pretended I had a gun
then walked into the woods
without the dog
“When/Then/That” was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize.
Katherine Gekker was recently named Assistant Poetry Editor of the Delmarva Review. She is the author of “In Search of Warm Breathing Things” (Glass Lyre Press, 2019). Her poems have been published in Delmarva Review, Little Patuxent Review, Broadkill Review, Poetry South, and Apple Valley Review. Her work has also been nominated for Best of the Net. Her poems, collectively called “…to Cast a Shadow Again,” have been set to music by composer Eric Ewazen. Composer Carson Cooman has set a seasonal cycle of her poems, “Chasing the Moon Down,” to music. Website: KatherineGekker.com.
Delmarva Review publishes the best of new prose and poetry selected from thousands of submissions annually. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, it receives partial financial support from individual contributions and a grant from the Talbot County Arts Council with funds from the Maryland State Arts Council. The review is available worldwide in paperback and electronic editions from Amazon.com and other major online booksellers and specialty regional bookstores. Website: DelmarvaReview.org.
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