Mia Schilling Grogan


Already I'm becoming an old lady
or old man. That person who worries
about you driving on the highway.
The appointment on my calendar
next week looms. Traveling is most
unnerving. Ticket on my phone that won't
hold a charge. Get there an hour early.
Search for plugs. Google and re-google
timetables. Time must be running out.
This is what explains my new unease:
The Timetable. Time is running out.
I search for plugs—google and re-google
how to hold my charge. Getting here so early
is unnerving. Is this ticket phony? Won't
next week loom? Traveling now is mostly
by appointment on my calendar.
About you—driving on the highway,
old man…I'm the person who worries.
Already I'm becoming an old lady.

"To till and to keep"

for Andrew

Till there was you: their song's title and refrain.
Remember how they'd rise from the table—
at restaurants, as the first notes played;
in the kitchen if it trilled from the radio
at breakfast time—and dance. We loved it;
till as teens we didn't. But by then we'd
each at least be choosing, secretly, a song
and a someone for someday.
                              And when our
turns arrived at last, our parents rose
from gilt chairs at head tables, their dance a
supple promise of the years we'd have to
polish our routines.
                              Their last dance? Was it one
summer's twilight on the porch, Mom's
sweeping train now a slender tube of air,
the song Dad sang in his Bing Crosby croon
somehow familiar?
                              It was not the night
we'd planned for them, the Bose cued, the table
set already: one day before their fiftieth.
But we heard how she stood suddenly, then fell
into his arms: held safely one last time,
encircled in that dear accustomed keep.


Mia Schilling Grogan is an Associate Professor of English at Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia. She is a medievalist who works in the areas of hagiography, prayer, and women's spiritual writing. Her poetry has recently appeared in America, First Things, Light, The Windhover, and Presence.


Jane Blanchard
Barbara Lydecker Crane
Mary Cresswell
Barbara Crooker
Sarah-Jane Crowson
Claudia Gary
Julia Griffin
Mia Schilling Grogan
Kathryn Jacobs
Jen Karetnick
Jean L. Kreiling
Jenna Le
Kathleen McClung
Diane Lee Moomey
Leslie Schultz
Natalie Staples
Kathrine Varnes
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The latest addition to the Mezzo Cammin Women Poets Timeline Database is Rachel Wetzsteon by Patricia Behrens. The Poetry by the Sea Conference is scheduled next year from May 21-24.

Maureen Alsop:I often create visual art as a memorialization to the closure of a written work. However, many of these visual pieces arrived as a trajectory while writing a larger 'work-in-progress.' The text within the visual poems do not speak to the content of the larger work but are autonomous, acting as bridge between the written and visual bodies. The original text draws upon ghosts in the hall of battles. It is a glittering solar analemma, an unattested revolution, an infinity reflected in ellipses, omissions, and disintegration. A full collection representing many of these images came to fruition recently in Tender to Empress (Wet Cement Press). Yet the act of creating from text continues, as the digital collages here also include newer works based on miscellaneous notes, old emails, and most recently a short story, "The Unnamed Woman of Mary River" (forthcoming at South Dakota Review). The title to these are based on cargo ships which I pass on my daily commute from island to mainland. These small cities of people, afloat for weeks on end out at sea, are a looming story that embarks and disembarks in my imagination.

The visual poems are crafted under the mechanics of "Écriture Féminine," literally "women's writing." These principals advance a feminine perspective. I write from parallels, cyclical slips through stream of conscious and fragmentary processes. The writing exists as rough erotic. As talisman. Interpersonal in their ruptures and syntax, soft in their discomforts; a splintered narrative. Through writing, I can go anywhere and never be found.

32 Poems
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String Poet
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