Before I packed my Limoges plates
and watercolors to leave your Tudor house
on Washington Street, I wedged
my photo between pages
of an Ansel Adams book, so I could float
above Dunes Oceano in my sundress
and listen to you play Waylon Jennings
on Saturday mornings.
I wanted to pick poinsettias
that bloomed pale against
the door, watch November's chill
morph you into a gray leather chair
with your dalmatian curled
beneath the dark lacquered table.
I wanted the scent of your cigarette
and every wall of your black and white world
to leverage me along a quiet crease
where I could fold into a vacuum
vast as Yosemite, hang silently
as the moon over Half Dome,
and pretend I was still framed
on your mantle.

Karen Kelsay is a native Californian who spent most of her childhood weekends on a boat.  Her husband is British, she is the mother of three children, and travels to England regularly to visit  extended family and enjoy the countryside.  Twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize and author of five chapbooks, her poems have been widely published in journals and magazines including The New Formalist,  Boston Literary Magazine and The Lyric.

This poem was written about about the ambivalence associated with the of ending a relationship, leaving  a photograph as a place mark, while simultaneously packing one's bags— to convey how things are not always black and white in the real world.




Copyright 2009