Copyright is held by the author.

in my morning newspaper
makes no judgment
of who you were
or what you did with your life.
It doesn’t discriminate
against the old, the young,
the rich or the poor,
the colour of one’s skin.
This page accepts you
as you were,
or want to be remembered.

After I begin my second cup of coffee
I turn to this page
to read the brief paragraphs
that sum up
seventy, eighty, ninety
years of life,
or, sadly, as few as one, two, or sixteen.

Today I met Marci.
She lived 86 years.
Her life story is given
to me in 420 words.
In these few words I learned Marci
laughed, loved, worked, wept,
raised a son, a daughter, had grandkids,
outlived her first husband,
married a second time
and travelled the face of the planet.
Every morning she thanked god
for a life well lived
and asked for a better world.
Then she died.

That’s all I will ever know
of Marci.
If I’m compelled
to know more about her
I can fill the gaps in her life
with deeds I create for her
in my imagination.
She will laugh
at my confession
and say, Yes, yes
I did those things.
Let me tell you about them.

I folded the paper, finished my coffee
and said goodbye to Marci.
If I’m lucky, someday someone
lingering over a morning cup
may read my story and wonder about a life
briefly told.

  1. My thoughts exactly as I’ve just had a walk round a local cemetery, in the icy sunshine.

  2. A beautiful, thoughtful poem.

  3. I love memoir, long or short. I love to read about the famous, but even more about the ordinary life. I’ve just finished writing my mom’s life story as told in her words, 92,386 words actually. I just loved your poem. It spoke to me like a thought in my own head. Thanks for that.

  4. Love it! Bitter sweet and thought provoking. Well done..

  5. Wistfully, enjoyed this Marci moment.

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