Don Quixote’s Search


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Don Quixote’s Search

You ride out your brave
Like a thousand men
A thousand women too, no more
Your sturdy mount, your throne
Hooves shod in shoes, step brave
Teamwork for the win

D is for dreamer, Don

Your life, an alphabet soup of how to slay those dragons
In search of small t truth

Headlong into battle
You wore brave
Long live your legend, profile in courage
Boldness, your aftershave slapped on cheek and neck
We smell you coming
Chasing hard, chasing fast, chasing true

Fighter of the cause you took up
C is for charge

And C is for cancer
Demons come in all shapes and sizes

Fear found no place
On the back of your mount

It seeks to bully and boss
Make you cower in the corner
Men like you
Women too, the dragon-slayers
Who ride in search of dreams, dusted up in battles of their own
Make no room for excess baggage, space-takers
That take the place of
Faith, hope, and love —weapons of choice

T is for tumor

H is for Hope
C is for cure
And chemo too
F is for freedom
We’re all in search of something, Don


Don Quixote’s Search first appeared in a collaborative exhibition entitled Environmental Abstracts with friend & artist Laurie Brownell McIntosh. You can find her on Instagram @northlightstudio803






B Flats in the Belfry

architecture art belfry bell
Photo by Pixabay on

B Flats in the Belfry

Let’s start the day this way

Eggs, fresh from our bantam backyard coop
One lone feather clings
Sticking still to the pale pink shell
Damp and new
Poached on toast, wheat
Seven on the toaster setting
Vinegar water smells of childhood
Methods of perfection, left and right
Sunny side up for you
Yoke the color of the tangelo lodge in the stocking toe
With peppermints, all those Christmases ago
Napkin in lap, just so

Rhythms of death due us part
Me, part you
We two
Still two (repeat the note for emphasis, an echo of our love)

Ask Alexa to play Diana Krall
Loud-soft, the way I like it, bluesy
Better yet, unplug the wires
The ones that entangle

Cut it off, cut the chords
Let the chorus enter in from out of doors
Through a window, cracked
And open

Tell me your secrets
I’ll tell you mine
And lay my cards flat out on the table
(Strike a note of honesty)
Beside your yokey fork tines

Cracks let in early light
Morning breaks through the edge of night
Can you hear the sound of nothing tip toe in?
Bow your head, now let’s begin

I watch you break your perfect yolks
So carefully, so carefully
Music from the belfry
Soundtrack to a simple life
Love was patient, love was kind


B Flats in the Belfry originally appeared as part of a  recent collaboration with artist Laurie Brownell McIntosh.  As artists, we combined poetry and visual art in an exhibition at Kershaw County Fine Arts Center entitled “Environmental Abstractions.”

Follow Laurie’s art on Instagram @northlightstudio803

Follow my words on Instagram @elizabethwynnemarshall and Twitter @ewynnemarshall










In Mother’s Shoes: Walking Out Grief

paving stones with moss
Photo by Kaboompics .com on

In Mother’s Shoes: Walking Out Grief


A mountain of grief
And a pile of shoes
Met me on the heels of momma’s death
Daddy went first
We went together
Grief shared, grief diminished

Big shoes
Nine or nine and a half
Ferragamo and Stuart Weitzman
Dignity sat at the end of those never-ending limbs
Boney feet, legs
Forgot how to walk
Toward the end
But taught me how to walk
To love
Legs, regal
Queenish and royal
Like veins
Tributaries, threads of her hands
Blood routes

We sat side by side on Sundays
Hushed on plush red velvet
Quiet as a church mouse, all but my tummy rumbling for lunch at the country club after church
Sweet smells of Methodism and old burnt-red hymnals linger still

I followed the sermon like a ten year old,
catching words and riding the tide of theology
I knew God was in that sanctuary (ten year old faith is strong like that)
The veins of her hands
Like a road map to life
I fingered her gold charms, reading each like a chapter book on a bracelet
Touching the pages
There, on her wrist, like a blind child reads braille
Dreaming of life and lunch

Now I walk out the loss, sift through memory,
find a way to remember

Slip into the slipper-style blue suede driving shoe
This is not a dress rehearsal, not dress-up
Though I am still a child, hers
Left, right
Both shoes
Misfit but sacred


In Mother’s Shoes: Walking Out Grief  first appeared at The Kershaw County Fine Arts Center as part of a collaboration between myself and Laurie Brownell McIntosh. The exhibition included  collaborative painting and poetry from both artists.

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