about the author

Kathleen Maris’s poems have appeared in Painted Bride Quarterly, The Atlas Review, Poems by Sunday, and elsewhere. In early 2016, she was the writer-in-residence at Crosshatch Center for Art and Ecology in northern Michigan. Kathleen is the Fall Residency coordinator for the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program.

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A Place Is a World 

Kathleen Maris

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As a child, I imagined my older self. She
was kind to me. She drew me connect-
the-dot pictures of robins and eagles
in the leather eye-let pattern
of my grandmothers’s VW bug roof.
The back seat of that car was cold.
Just cold. Once a month we drove north
through the coverall-peopled towns:
Evansdale, Waterloo, Charles City.
She wrote me stories about the ocean:
my sky. Birds of all sorts. I flew with them.
She prepared me for whatever was to come:
A place is a world. But there are many of them.
I never knew anything about love
until we got in that car and drove away
from my mother. Look up. I want to say,
Look up. The Iowan fields
go on forever, but the sky. It changes.

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