by Karen Schubert
You gave me letters from your car
in the hot courthouse parking lot.
I gave you things for our daughter,
pictures, hangers, books.
To lawyers we told our marriage
like an event in history, a war, or
hurricane, an era. I
see it in reverse, the end
begins it. You get off your knees,
tears slip into your eyes,
apologies pour back into your
mouth, then angry words unhurling
and endless disappointment. Our
teenagers give up their despair
and soft and small, climb into my lap.
I read to them, and they become
my lap, lovely mysterious movement.
I lay my wedding bouquet back
in the white box, the justice
of the peace goes home, and you ask
if I would go with you to Wisconsin.
I hold my breath and listen.
Karen Schubert lives in Youngstown, Ohio, a former steeltown
where fresh winds are blowing. She and her daughter are both
students at Youngstown State University, where she won YSU’s Hare
Award for poetry. Her poems have been published or are forthcoming
in Mid-America Poetry Review, DMQ, Angle, Primavera, Versal,
Poetry Midwest, YSU’s Penguin Review, and others.
The poem “Wisconsin” is about how we remember things that
happen to us, about how they are not discrete events but connected
to everything that happened after and before. It is also about how
our imaginations cannot undo events without undoing others that
we would not give up. And it is about how we are actors in our
lives and in the lives of others, sometimes looking out from our
own eyes, sometimes seeing ourselves from across the room. And
it is about how young we are when we are young, and about how
we are not the same persons later, when we have seen pages and
pages of the script.
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Apple Valley Review:
A Journal of Contemporary
Volume 2, Number 1
Copyright © 2007
by Leah Browning, Editor.
All future rights to material
published in the Apple
Valley Review are retained
by the individual authors