Caitlin McCrory Evans, “Penitence”

orange line


I’ve read accounts of women who walked into
the sea after Woolf; pockets weighed down

by small gravel and pebbles; as if the water
couldn’t swallow their guilt whole. I always

asked my students to imagine what their characters
carried in their pockets; the untucked linings

and days-old lint; empty gum wrappers or unused
panty liners; this is what makes them real, I promised.

These things will go through cycles on wash and rinse,
and, still, none will be wholly clean. I’ve failed to wash

any of your jackets in almost two years; I keep
the pockets full as you left them, now with faded

grocery receipts, lists of wines, and grit that has collected
in between the seams.


Caitlin McCrory Evans is an educator and writer who lives on the remote plains of Colorado. She holds an MFA from Texas State University. Her creative work has appeared in Burnt Bridge and Garden Leaf Press.


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