by Katherine Gekker
You begin to speak of me
in the past tense—
Who were you?
I don’t know what you believed.
As if to know and to let go
are simultaneous events.
As if I am the one leaving.
On your first day of school it rained.
Someone took a picture of you
thin beneath your leather satchel, your beret.
The black and white photo
makes you look forever
gray with anticipation.
Beneath cryptomeria, a lone cypress,
we sow your ashes.
Kneeling, we fold them
into the soil.
They gleam against dark earth.
Our eyelashes glow silver
in the night’s mist.
This is who I was—
a girl in the rain at night.
Katherine Gekker’s poetry has been published in Little
Patuxent Review, Broadkill Review, Poetry South, Apple
Valley Review, Northern Virginia Review, and other journals.
A selection of her poems, collectively called “. . . to Cast a
Shadow Again,” has been set to music by composer Eric
Ewazen. Composer Carson Cooman has also set a seasonal
cycle of her poems, "Chasing the Moon Down," to music.
Both works are available on CD and iTunes. Gekker’s first
collection of poems, In Search of Warm Breathing Things,
is forthcoming from Glass Lyre Press in 2019.
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Apple Valley Review:
A Journal of Contemporary
Volume 13, Number 1
Copyright © 2018
by Leah Browning, Editor.
All future rights to material
published in the Apple
Valley Review are retained
by the individual authors