The first time you left,
the note lay on the bed.
Typed, neatly folded
as you hoped
our marriage was.

It wasn’t.
These things take time—
recriminations, tears,
trips to counselors
who called us co-dependent.

The next time
it lay beside the kitchen sink.
A new location, you thought,
would make it easier to bear.
It didn’t.

The news of your second marriage,
to your soul mate,
came in the local paper
which I was meant to read
but didn’t.

Two years later, vernal equinox,
ice-slick roads and longer days,
temps at two below,
you email me with news of your divorce.
You want to meet me over coffee.

I read your onscreen note.
I print it off, reread it two more times
stow it in a drawer for later.
I’ll probably go. It’s soothing
to make seasonal mistakes.


Jill Dery has published stories in Bellingham Review, Fourteen Hills, and others; she’s published poetry in Antiphon, San Pedro River Review, Penn Review, and Broad Street, and has poems forthcoming in Tule Review. Her MFA in poetry is from UC Irvine. Born and raised in Los Angeles, she’s lived in Anchorage since 1992.