Marcia F. Brown is the author of five collections of poetry: The Way Women Walk (winner of the Sheltering Pines Press Chapbook Competition 2005); Home to Roost ~ Paintings and Poems from Belfast, Maine with artist, Archie Barnes (Custom Museum Publishing 2008); What On Earth (Moon Pie Press 2010); When We Invented Water (Moon Pie Press 2014) and the forthcoming In the Afternoon (Moon Pie Press 2019). She is also the author of the essay collection Well Read, Well Fed ~ A Year of Great Reads and Simple Dishes for Book Groups (Sellers Publishing 2015).
Her poems are widely published in literary journals and anthologies, and have been read by Garrison Keillor on NPR’s Writers Almanac, and included in Keillor’s anthology Good Poems, American Places. Her work has been nominated for multiple Pushcart Prizes and featured in The Norton Field Guide to Writing 4e with Readings, edited by Bullock, Goggin, Weinberg (W.W. Norton, New York, NY 2016).
A graduate of Smith College (’75) and the University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast MFA program, Marcia served as Poet Laureate for the City of Portland, ME from 2013-2015, where she compiled and edited the anthology, Port City Poems ~ Contemporary Poets Celebrate Portland, Maine and launched the Words Matter Visiting Poets Series featuring nationally acclaimed poet Tony Hoagland. Since 2011 she has co-hosted the monthly “Local Writers” reading series showcasing area poets and prose authors in her home town of Cape Elizabeth, ME where she lives with her husband.
How I love
the way that women walk,
crossing lawns under Japanese lanterns
or stepping out from canopies
in streetlight after rain.
There is a lullaby
in the way women walk
together in summer at night,
a low familiar melody
near and faraway.
The light clip clip of their shoes I love,
their languid waltz of approaching.
I hear their soft arpeggio-talk,
in unseen spaces of dark.
I love the way that women walk
together in shadows at night,
I love watching
the way women walking
in their arms,
holding their untold stories
close to their ribs.
They turn and lean to one another
in a great hushed chorus of walk,
brush-beat of shoulder and hip,
an evensong of ease surrounds them.
They are their own deep night. Their own
crickets, peepers, owls in leafy trees.
They are the moon
for dim passages.
I love to think
of women walking
their arms unwinding in song,
lifting their hair like a hymn.
"The Way Women Walk" is the title poem of Marcia F. Brown’s chapbook, which was selected first prize winner in the 2005 Sheltering Pines Press Chapbook Competition (www.shelteringpinespress.com).