Advice to Self, Again
by Marjorie Saiser

Today the cardinal in the branches
is the bird, but not exactly,
my father saw. Few who can
remember him are left, as there will be
a day when no one can remember you.
You will be a name on a list perhaps
but no one alive will know
what you liked or needed,
your hands, your ring.
Go out now into the streets and arenas
that know you, the rivers of people.
Walk in the crowds, your purpose
to shoulder among those who could,
if they wanted—
they for you, you for them—
scan for your face in the others,
and say the syllables of your name.


Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 21, Issue 3.

Marjorie Saiser’s novel-in-poems, Losing the Ring in the River (University of New Mexico Press, 2013), won the Willa Award for Poetry. Saiser’s poems have been published in Prairie Schooner, Poetry East, Poet Lore, Nimrod, and Chattahoochee Review.

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