I always dread this part, as I never know what to say. Maybe it’s because at age 44.5, I’m still not quite sure who I am yet. I’ve been on a journey of rediscovery the past decade or so, trying to remember, relearn, and even reinvent myself. My ongoing identity crisis has been spurred on by a series of unfortunate events, beginning with the death of my husband Rickey in 2012 and culminating with me being laid off from the job I’d had with the phone company for almost 20 years. Everything that had defined me for the majority of my adult life was gone, leaving me with nothing but questions. If I was no longer Rickey’s wife, no more a Line Translations Specialist, just who the heck did I think I was? Better yet, who did I want to be? Although the answers have evolved over the past few years — like I truly believe I have done — one thing has always remained the same: my love of writing. So here I am, toes on the starting line, heart pounding, mind racing, anxious to embark on my second Poetry Marathon and see just where this course takes me.

“Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind. The race is long and in the end, it’s only with yourself.”

— Sunscreen, Baz Luhrmann