Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby


May 13, 2010 Linda Parsons Marion is the author of two poetry collections, Home Fires and Mother Land. For fourteen years she served as poetry editor of Now & Then magazine and has received literary fellowships from the Tennessee Arts Commission and Associated Writing Programs, and her poems have appeared in The Georgia Review, Iowa Review, Shenandoah, and Prairie Schooner, among other journals and anthologies. She is an editor at the University of Tennessee and lives in Knoxville with her husband, poet Jeff Daniel Marion.


It surrounded her like the sea: sofa, chairs, Formica
counter, even the melamine plates some shade of aqua,
all the rage in 1960. At twenty, she dove into life’s well,
marrying my father, who hid his nine older years
behind a salesman’s ease. At her round table, I swiveled
on the sherbet-colored stools, wash of blue on blue
swimming past—robin’s egg, cobalt, turquoise, sky.
I brought her those days my ache for breath, startled
mouth and gills, freckled sheen dulled brown, left
my mother’s house on the lee shore of shifting sands.
She bundled me in woven creel, feathered fern
and sage, our currents riding tidal surge, divergent
cloud, divining pool of far-gone cares; while I, furtive
minnow, swept along in her phosphorescent wake.