Mardi Fries tries to keep on top of Wisconsin poetry developments as president of this organization. As literary executrix, she takes relevant estate papers pertaining to a writer's life and work into the local university research center Special Collections area. Mardi is a Certified Advanced Directives Counselor working primarily in a hospital setting, an advocate for adoptees' open record legislation, and she misses handbell choir. Otherwise, Mardi is mother to three sons, grandmother to four and spouse of a retiree.

The Small Parade

the dog and I walk
window to window daily
clear past panes
of bus, office, nursing
room and other homes
as two that costume
in coats or less
for another weather
match a stride
to the march in frame
upon frame a film
for the third person
spectators wave loud
applaud from a shop
theatre whatever far
station smiling with
I know you and your dog
move in a small parade
playing strangers still
the dog and I walk
window to window daily
clear past panes

A Snoman and other Small Stories Copyright 1995 by Mardi Fries

An Adoptee in the Social Science Stacks Again

Sometimes a mother reaches her
easily. The little girl hugs
a storybook happily,
skipping too high all of a long
way home from the public
library. For these
days, fiction casts her real.
She tries on names
and other methods until
play drains her old
enough to find another
place for reading
the right words. No mother
hides within the social
science stacks. Though here
most volumes say it's true
to miss someone
you never knew.

Copyright Mardi Fries

Driving by St. Mary's

Sun hours drain the August day beige
around a small town parish. Heat's thick
against a well of grass clean as white stone
paths and the window frames. Late afternoon
a man waits at this brick-brown church.
Slacks and T-shirt sheens match dark
to twilight; yet too bright. He leans
the door loose stretching long up
deep wood. That stamina cools my dry
fear at first. Then I see: He is not
a priest. His arms weaken as if to lock
me in a sanctuary night as he leaves
for the relief of stars he did not shine. I drive
away safe into my own real evening's surprise.

Copyright Mardi Fries

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