14 Women X Infinity

Friends, I thought maybe you'd like to see a photo of the cast of Listen To Your Mother Providence, as I’ve been going on about how proud I am to have been a part of it.

And I'll bet you’re curious to know what poems I read:

after Newtown
In talking about
the end of the world
and human civilization
by tidal wave or solar flare,
my young son whispers
kids are too young to die
as my heart simultaneously
wilts and blooms.
I reply, yes, far too young
and brush his hair back
from a pretty forehead
clean of bullet holes,
stifle a moan by swallowing.
One heartbeat later,
my child bemoans those humans--
the ones he thinks
will finally realize
the planet is overheating
just about the time
his own children are grown--
and describes his child
wiping her own sweaty brow
as future apologists cry
What have we done?

bed-hopping (not that kind)
When you wake up squished
on the too-short loveseat,
entangled in warm limbs
and breathing in the breath
of your bright little girl,

you manage to peer through
sleep-filled eyes to witness
your long-limbed son
splayed and snoring
on top of this drowsy daddy.

You recall the night before,
one in your bed at one,
the other in with you at two,
At four? Mama, I’m so sorry,
I wet your bed, Mama.

As you throw the sheets
in the washing machine
and the kid in the shower,
you know for sure
you’ve hit the jackpot.

basic human needs
Sleeping, dreaming, drowsing,
by one, then two,
little bodies in my bed
with their little voices,
cold limbs, and big needs.

They snuggle in,
then drift back to sleep.

Mama is awake at three ay em,
starting to count sheep,

when a cozy little girl voice
says in her sleep, I love you, Mama.
Mama replies, I love you, Baby.

Then the drifting, sleeping voice says,

My butt isn’t getting any blankets.

(The first poem is from my upcoming book, SUPERPOWERS or: More Poems About Flying, and the other two are in my first book, Responsive Pleading.)

What you don’t realize is that you really need to hear the stories of all of these women. So I am telling you. Because these stories will affect you, even change you.

Imagine all of this times 24 cities across the country, and baby, I feel like I was part of a social movement.


I know you’re dying to see video from Listen To Your Mother, and believe me, as soon as I have a link, you’ll know it. It’s a big project for the women in charge to put that together, so I expect it sometime in the summer.

In the meantime, I’ll post links to the stories of my sister-writers as they post them on their own blogs, so please check back here often. Here’s some reading for now. Make sure you have your box of tissues.
Kirsten Di Chiappari, The Truth
Brianne DeRosa, Normal
Laura Rossi, Mother’s Day
Jennifer Ciplet, Sunny Side Up
Phyllis Myung, What Took You So Long
Lexi “Sweatpants” Magnusson, I’m Jealous Of You
Lauren Jordan, Pink Butterflies
Alicia Kamm, Baby V
Stephanie S. Lazenby, Nobody Ever Told Me
Carla Molina, Perfect
Kelly Baraf, Tea Party
Jackie Hennessey, The Horrors of Shopping With Kids
Jessica Severson, May-Bell


  1. It must have been fantastically empowering, Marian. And your poems about your kids always make me choke up - you are just such a beautiful little family of love.

  2. Marian, what an amazing project! Your poems remind me of early days with Riley... but she never wet the bed. Your breathing in your little girl's scent, the only-parents-can-understand humor in your boy sprawled on top of his dad... these are the sweetest things in life.

    I was once part of a running all-woman show, but it was songs, jokes, readings of other writers and such. We had a few decent singers and a couple of show-stoppers. Diva By Diva, back in Buffalo. I was privileged to accompany them on keys and sing, plus I wrote special material. That's entertaining, but what you did was much more powerful. Hearing women in their OWN words is life-changing, especially for men.

    Have you seen "The People Speak," a documentary by Howard Zinn? It has many famous actors recreating speeches of Sojourner Truth, John Brown... all sorts of important people virtually absent in our history textbooks. Since it's in that reading-performance style, I think you'd like it. David Straitharn is especially wonderful. Peace, and thanks, looking forward to the clip, Amy

    1. i have seen The People Speak, thanks for reminding me, Amy.

  3. Your poems remind me of nights--more than half a century ago--when I tried to stay in my bed but the warmth of wet and cold of fear woke me and accompanied me to my parents room. Was there something more tender about a half sleeping moms arms warming me and cuddling me between her and dad, pulling the blankets over me like sleep itself? I suspect in your audience I would weep and laugh. I helped create performance of women's stories while active in Women's centers--it never gets old.

    1. PS: Thank you for sharing in this way, for giving us more to look forward to.

  4. I am so stoked to see that video! It sounds like such an amazingly powerful event

  5. did i mention that i was the oldest cast member? i guess someone had to be.

  6. You look stunning, Marian. I love the Gatsby-ish fringe on that dress! Someone had to be the fabulous one there :-)

    1. thank you, my friend. it IS a rather fabulous dress! :)


Thank you for sharing your thoughts!