top of page

Carly Wheelehan Gelsinger


is a body’s homecoming with dappled rays

& days that give up so young—

I've come to learn that staying alive is to accept


the earth's parting & returning. At first scent

of autumn, long before storm,

my father without thinking would wrap himself


in layers & search the forest for the moss-covered oak

that would warm us in winter.

We are too precious about memory.


November comes with turning clocks to remind us

memory is not trace lines

& lace doilies, but a drumline in our guts.


Sometimes I dream of turning back to God

& her curves in chestnut pew,

where my sadness was holy. Sometimes


I remember you over the stove on blue mornings.

The way your hands poached eggs,

your comically large grip around a wooden spoon


& how I stared down the swirling pot, watching white

ribbons coil around themselves.

Forgive me for returning. It has been so cold.




Carly Wheelehan Gelsinger is an MFA candidate at Ashland University. She is a single mother of three who resides in the Bay Area, California.

Bear Review


bottom of page