Get up! Get up! She’s gone!
—Glinda the Good Witch, The Wizard of Oz
Thinking sunlight or scrub would erase
the cologne from scarves and coats I gathered,
this piled assemblage in my mother’s apartment—
her things, her voice, her suede heels down
memory’s emerald halls. Thinking I could
shatter that wizardry, spells in a poof of sulfur,
tell her twisted story, what I found in her bureau,
the mousey kitchen, notes scattered on tables,
in drawers: Praise God! I’m forgiven!
Thinking I could drive home, past longing
and tribulation, shake off her powder
cowing every breath and, in writing it later,
lulled by the journey, the vast poppy fields,
not type power.
Linda Parsons Marion
Linda Parsons Marion is an editor at the University of Tennessee and the author of three poetry collections, most recently, Bound. She served as poetry editor of Now & Then magazine for many years and has received literary fellowships from the Tennessee Arts Commission, as well as the Associated Writing Programs’ Intro Award and the 2012 George Scarbrough Award in Poetry, among others. Marion’s work has appeared in journals such as The Georgia Review, Iowa Review, Southern Poetry Review, Asheville Poetry Review, Shenandoah, Birmingham Poetry Review, and Ted Kooser’s syndicated column American Life in Poetry and in numerous anthologies, including Listen Here: Women Writing in Appalachia and The Southern Poetry Anthology, Volume III: Contemporary Appalachia.
Artwork: Harry Clarke, “St. Dorothy,” from Selected Poems of Swinburne, 1928.