That Thanksgiving I sorted twenty-five years
of marriage, laid the photos in piles,
labeled them according to place.
The nuclear fallout was unexpected.
I avoided the table, learned to walk
around it, looking away from our faces,
the seventeen nests I’d built. The twigs and
wattle of townhouses, apartments,
the London flat, the wing of a manor house.
Finally, a detached, single-family home
where none of the pieces fit,
like this photo
of a torn photo
of a room.
Its floor of checkered tiles—alternating black
and white—though a divorce is never without
some gray. The splintered walls shorn,
wallpaper stripped, baseboards whose joints
no longer meet.
Why do I want to lift the photo
from the frame and take it home? Even if I place
the pieces where I used to think they belonged,
the edges will always be jagged.
Sandi Stromberg has been nominated twice for a Pushcart Prize as well as for a 2020 Best of the Net. Her poetry currently appears or is upcoming in The Ocotillo Review, San Pedro River Review, The Ekphrastic Review, Visual Verse, Still the Waves Beat, Texas Poetry Calendar 2021, Purifying Wind, Snapdragon, and Brabant Cultureel (The Netherlands). As the editor of two poetry anthologies, she has been honoured to feature the work of other poets.
Leah Gose is a photographic artist and educator. She is an Associate Professor of Photography and Chair of the Harvey School of Visual Arts at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, TX. She holds a B.A. in photography from the University of Colorado and an M.F.A. in photography from Texas Woman’s University. Her work seeks to challenge the viewers relationship to their own perception, and ask questions of the reliability of memory. Her work has been exhibited in various venues both nationally and internationally.
The Ekphrastic Review
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