Marjorie Saiser


Remember how she wanted to 
make you feel OK about your idea,
even though it was not parallel to
the majority or the well-prepared.
Remember your differences:
belted blue raincoat versus
shirt sleeves in a downpour;
measure twice versus slap-dash.
Remember her hands, how she
clasped them and then
straightened the diamond ring that
always fell to one side. There was
that apron she sewed for you and
when you never wore it, she
sewed you another, and embroidered
“Big Cheese” on it, as you requested.
Remember when she hugged you at the door
and meant it, and would, if things were not
all haywire, even now reach out her arms
toward you, and hold you to her.

Marjorie Saiser’s The Track the Whales Make: New & Selected Poems will be published in 2021 by University of Nebraska Press. Her novel-in-poems, Losing the Ring in the River (University of New Mexico Press, 2013), won the Willa Award for Poetry. Saiser’s Learning to Swim (Stephen F. Austin State University Press, 2019) is part memoir, part poems. Her poems have been published in Prairie Schooner, Alaska Quarterly Review, Poetry East, Rattle, Poet Lore, Chattahoochee Review, bosque, Water-Stone Review, Briar Cliff Review, Nimrod, and American Life in Poetry. Saiser’s website is