#1 I am

While others are
gathering their snacks –
dark strong chocolate,
pots of coffee,
piles of prompts
books, pictures, memories
I am gathering
memories just lost
seeking my center
trying to look
out, up, ahead.

While others are
organizing their space,
choosing their view,
piling up references,
contemplating the virtues –
chips vs candy? –
I am clearing
my space, tossing
everything I can
in order to
move small, light.

While others are
juggling joy, nerves
and anticipation, I
am juggling agents
lawyers, buyers, tradesmen,
plans, timelines, loss.

While others are
imagining poems, I
am recalling them.

While others are
filled with energy,
I am struggling
to regain mine.

While others are
reaching out, eager
to share, excited,
I am pulled
into my shell
to nurture, conserve
what little reserve
I have rebuilt.

While others are
writing with me
and yet apart
I am grateful
to be part
of something beyond
the four walls
of my pain,
grateful for openings
to explore yet
another adventure ahead.



6 thoughts on “#1 I am

  1. This is a really great poem! I love the repetition of “While others…” I also like how I get a sense of how the speaker differs from everyone else and how they’re preparing for this intense marathon. Nice! 😊

    1. Thank you, linst. This was the kind of writing Marge Piercy might call ‘throat clearing’ … getting the backstory out of the way to make room for real words. At least for me, it turned out to be the perfect first marathon prompt!

  2. I too like the “While others are/I am” call & response structure, my only query is why didn’t you maintain the “I am” line start for v3&4? It just threw me a little. But well done.

    1. Interesting interpretation garethroi – in my reading every stanza maintains the same ‘while others/I am’. Guess I’m curious whether the change in stanza length threw you off? Regardless I appreciate the read and your feedback.

  3. No I had no problem with stanzas of differing lengths given you didn’t set up three stanzas of 6 lines, then suddenly check me a 4 liner, 11 liner, then a 2 liner. In this context differing lengths = variety which helped maintain energy.

    I simply refer to:

    and anticipation, I
    am juggling agents
    imagining poems, I
    am recalling them.

    instead of:

    and anticipation
    I am juggling agents
    imagining poems
    I am recalling them

    As the other 4 verses are.

    It’s not a big issue, was just curious why the change?

    1. Ahh … b/c my structure was three words/line – not stanza length!!!

      Somehow it seems not to have shown up that way on your screen…e.g. there is no line that is ‘and’ on its own

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