Out of the Blue
by Carol A. Stephen

September, 2020. Out of the blue,
in my inbox, the words from a man
I haven’t heard from since 1983.

My former husband, reaching out,
wanting reconnection. Hesitant.
Perhaps diffident. He speaks

of unfinished business from a time
when we were too young and foolish.
At a time when so many friends are distant,

closed behind doors to keep the virus out,
this is a door I am up for opening. The virtual
reality of Zoom offers a way.

We see each other on-screen, each of us older
now, hair silver for me, hair missing for him.
My frame smaller now; he has a paunch.

But both of us connect to the new, maturity
of the people we now are. He talks books,
politics, painting. We share opinions, neither

of us concerned where we do not agree. We have
so many points of connection that where we differ
doesn’t matter.

For the next two years, we do this every weekend.
He listens to my ups and downs; I hear his.
No time to worry about those missing years.

We spent that time growing up and growing into ourselves.

PHOTO: Birds flying above the clouds by Mexitographer.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: “Out of the Blue” tells the story of my reconnection with my ex-husband after silence and absence of about 43 years. We would have been married 53 years at the time of his email. At a time when everyone was isolating and I hadn’t seen any of my friends in six months, it was a revelation to meet with Jack, even just on Zoom, and find that we had grown into people who shared many attitudes, people who had, indeed, grown up. We were still children, essentially, when we split up. Perhaps that allowed us to become who we needed to be in order to reconnect so positively.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Carol Stephen’s poetry appears in Poetry Is Dead (June 2017) and numerous print publications, including Wintergreen Studios chapbooks, Sound Me When I’m Done and Teasing the Tongue.  Her online poems appear at Silver Birch Press, Topology Magazine, The Light Ekphrastic, and With Painted Words.  She won third prize in the CAA National Capital Writing Contest, and was featured in Tree’s Hot Ottawa Voices.  Carol served on the board for Canadian Authors Association-NCR and co-directed Ottawa’s Tree Reading Series. She has five chapbooks, two released in 2018—Unhook (catkin press, Carleton Place) and Lost Silence of the Small (Local Gems Press, Long Island, NY). In 2019, Winning the Lottery, Surviving Clostridium Difficile  was published by Crowe Currently, she is working on the manuscript for her first full-length poetry collection and another about birds of the Corvidae family and their friends. Visit her at