Delmarva Review: The Vision By Catherine Carter

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The Vision
By Catherine Carter

In a rainy April evening you come into a town
you used to know. The town has changed,
just enough the same to be disturbing,
upsetting, and enough changed
to remind you that you don’t know this town
after all, not now. The rain running down
the streets blurs the lines, you can’t tell
which lane you’re in; the water makes rings
and little crowns on the black asphalt,
deeps and illusions from surfaces,
veils between trees. The traffic moves
too fast. You keep up, heading for a house
you think you could never forget
while the mind lasts; your hands know
what your mind fumbles, the sudden strange
turn at the end of a blind
curve. Your old house isn’t there, then
it is, once you realize that you’re on
the wrong part of the street, there
isn’t the right there, you’ve forgotten
after all. It’s just enough
the same to be upsetting, neither the town
you knew nor any strange
town free of associations. The rain tumbles
and drums; you’ve had dreams
like this, everything you remember lost,
and kids the age you were then
passing you like a ghost, though
you’re still alive, for now, and you’re awake.

Catherine Carter was raised on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. She teaches at Western Carolina University Her collections of poetry include The Swamp Monster at Home  and The Memory of Gills. In addition to The Delmarva Review, her work has appeared in Best American Poetry 2009, Orion, Poetry, and Ploughshares, among others.

Her poem, “The Vision,” is reprinted from The Delmarva Review’s eighth annual issue (2015), which contains original prose and poetry of 35 authors from the region and beyond. The literary journal is published by the Eastern Shore Writers Association with additional support from the Talbot County Arts Council and private contributions. For information about availability and submissions, see the website

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