Prompt One–The End

Caretaker

Caretaker

As I gazed at the day room
the head nurse shuffled through,
checking pulses and giving orders.
The carpenter slid along the walls
tap, tap, tapping for unseen studs.
The Wall Street broker yelled
into resident phones sell, sell, sell!

Slippery layers cradled within the skull
nestle gently against one another.
Whirls and folds contain the essence
of humanity, a seemingly random
jumble of gray flesh that is in fact
the backlit cosmos of each person,
unknown and unknowable beyond
outer myelinated mannerisms,
remembrance in repeated motion.

Tendrils of dementia infiltrate layers
like wood smoke on a cloudy night,
extinguish the memory of a child’s name,
a lover’s face, ember by glowing ember,
gone, but for the tap, tap, tapping,
the sell, sell, selling,
and the gentle, cool fingers
placed on the wrists
of other ghosting, fleshly shells.

Tracy Plath

Hello, fellow marathoners!

Hello, fellow marathoners! I’m a poet, editor, and short story writer fortunate to live in the stunning juxtaposition of desert, river, and mountains that is the west side of El Paso, Texas, with my sprawling family, golden retriever Ginger, aka The Love Sponge, and our Celtic kitty, Seamus. While pursuing degrees in English literature and Anthropology at Indiana University as an adult returning student, I discovered the intense joy and therapeutic healing of poetry and essay writing. I had the great good fortune to marry the love of my life in 2012, and as a poet am simultaneously both nerdishly proud and daunted by the fact that my husband is a distant relative of Sylvia Plath. My participation in the 2015 Poetry Marathon reaped the many layered benefits of intense writing time spent with my daughter, poet Sara Anderson, the deep and sustaining friendships begun on that fateful day such as that with my dear friend, Alicia Sophia Martin and the other awesome members of the writing group, Some Poets, the publication of my first chapbook, Thicker Than Water: Poems From a Life Uncharted, and writing poems for, co-editing and producing three books for Some Poets, 19,751 words. an anthology. by Some Poets., Wicked Words. a chapbook. by Some Poets., and Love. Letters. a chapbook. by Some Poets. We are in the process of creating a multicultural book of translation poems that touch on the family background and language of each participating poet, a book that came about directly from the global roots of our members because of last year’s marathon, and I’m personally writing my own memoir titled Blood Is with poem/photo chapter introductions. I’ve been looking forward to this year’s marathon since about a minute after 2015’s marathon ended, and can’t wait to see what we all create!

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