Lifespan Marian Shapiro


By Marian Kaplun Shapiro

The curtain rises: Summer. Maine. A screen door.

luna moth    soft-glowing
            pistachio wings trembling       sound-
                   less waiting waiting one week    
                            (Is today day one?)      and

then what?

So quiet now.  The humans have blasted off,
freedom exploding like champagne uncorked, rocketing to     
                                                                     except for                                                                


me. Sitting.  Keeping company with
the occasional loon. The lone duck.

        a little ways uphill.                                                                                                                                     
One room for sleepingeatingwashingwritingreading. Family. After dinner
parlor games. Cards. Telling when-I was-your-age stories of our wild years
to the kids//grandkids who can’t quite take it in. Really? No, really?  They
shake their middle aged/ adolescent heads, preparing to facebook their friends
the moment they rejoin their iPhones at their nearby little rental houses.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          You and I
wait quietly. Together. We turn, almost as one, to find the luna moth
flickering almost imperceptibly like a Yahrzeit candle in its final hour.
We fall asleep, our dreams washed in gauzy green, weaving miracles
of timeless time where sky becomes ocean, where now becomes

                                                                                                   ….In the morning
she is gone. For where? The question is a nesting doll in which
each answer will reveal another mystery. It gets louder by the  minute.

Marian, Rangeley.jpg

Marian Kaplun Shapiro grew up in a housing project in The Bronx. She rejoices in her life as a psychologist in Lexington, Massachusetts where her house and office look out on the grass, the trees, the birds, and the clear sky. And in summer she returns with her husband, adult children and their children to Rangeley, Maine, where she writes, reads, walks, and canoes for three glorious weeks. She is the author of a professional book, Second Childhood (Norton, 1988),  a poetry book, Players In The Dream, Dreamers In The Play (Plain View Press, 2007) and  two chapbooks: Your Third Wish, (Finishing Line, 2007); and The End Of The World, Announced On Wednesday (Pudding House, 2007). Marian is a five-time Senior Poet Laureate of Massachusetts. She was nominated for the Pushcart Prize in 2012.

Featured image by cloud2013 / CC BY