Who Am I?

Marion with Chester

Marion with Chester one of her Grandsons

A woman,

a lover of this precious, crumbling world,

my own fleshly world crumbling,

precious, too.


An infant born to a mother who adored infants,

who needed an infant


a too-soon awkward child;

an adolescent struggling toward the salvation of competence;

a wife, certain she knew how she should be,

how he should be,

how everyone should be;

a mother, a perfect mother, a failed mother;

a lesbian starving for food she had never tasted;

a grandmother,

a grandmother,

a grandmother.

All tucked neatly, like nesting dolls,

inside an old woman.

An old woman standing close by the end of her eighth decade.


Who am I?

A lone woman,

a fleck of dust in an expanding universe,

a fleck of consciousness



A gatherer of words.

Words laid out, one by one by one,

seeking . . .

not the eternity of the page.

Paper crumbles, too,

like worlds.

Like my fleshly crumbling world.

I gather a bouquet words,

my past into words,

hold it in this moment,

only this moment

of loss,





I gather words to say



only this.


I am here.

I am.


[A piece from my memoir in progress, currently titled  All the Love in this Trembling World:  A Memoir in Verse]

24 thoughts on “Who Am I?

  1. Carrie Johnson

    Lovely. But not “old” as tired, stale, declining, outworn, obsolete. “Old” as durable, well-aged, weathered, tempered. Wise.

  2. Carleen M. Tjader

    Oh, Marion, this is beautiful. You choose and place each word in just the right spot! Love the comparison with a nesting doll. I know you have used the “whole” of your life in all your lovely writing.


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