SWWIM publishes, celebrates, & promotes women, women-identifying & Femme-presenting writers through a Miami-based reading series & the online poetry journal SWWIM Every Day.

Bouncing Between Beds with Song by Marjorie Maddox

                     “Let’s go fly a kite, up to the highest height”

                                                                               Mary Poppins


See the magnolia bursting 

with what could be and the blue-grey 

two-story shy beside it? There, 

go in now, up the stairs and back too many years 


into what could be, into the blue-grey 

and stair-stepping into the long hallway of age, 

go in now, staring full-face all the many years 

that separate adult’s bed from child’s dream. 


Two-stepping down the long hallway of age, 

here where you cannot stand still— 

between adult’s bed and child’s dream— 

this is where you learned to fly. 


There is a time you cannot stand still, 

a time to leap from the blue-grey hall. 

This is where your voice learned to fly 

bursting from throat through song, through story, 


each time leaping from the blue-grey hall, 

“up, up into the atmosphere” of movies, 

bursting from throat through song, through story, 

“up, up where the air is clear,” Mary Poppins humming. 


“Up, Up”—the atmosphere expanding as you moved 

into each new sphere, past flying the kite, past the kite itself, 

“up, up, where the air is clear,” beyond Mary Poppins. Humming 

yourself into belief, away from the world below 


into each new sphere, past flying the kite, past the kite itself, 

into the more real sky, the universe itself, all that was waiting 

of yourself.  What you believed flew away from the world below 

with loud singing past the rooftops and soot-filled chimneys 


into the more real sky, the universe itself, all that was waiting. 

Dashing down the long hallway, you bounce on one bed, then the other

with loud singing, past the rooftops and soot-filled chimneys,

past the Mary Poppins stories—childhood 


dashed. Down the long hallway, past the beds, the other 

self waits. There are always two stories. There 

the blue-grey of what was. Over there, 

what could be, every magnolia bursting. 

Sage Graduate Fellow of Cornell (MFA) and Professor of English and Creative Writing at Lock Haven University, Marjorie Maddox has published 11 collections of poetry; the short story collection, What She Was Saying; four children's books; and 500 poems, stories, and essays in journals and anthologies. She is the co-editor of Common Wealth: Contemporary Poets on Pennsylvania and the recipient of numerous awards, including Pushcart Prize nominations in poetry and fiction. Please see www.marjoriemaddox.com.

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