"What Light: This Week's Poem,” sponsored by Magers and Quinn Booksellers, brings you a poem every week by a Minnesota poet, selected by a panel of writers and publishers. Look for our anthology, “What Light,” at Magers and Quinn in Uptown or on line.
By Jen March
August 13, 2007
Jen Marsh
Jen Marsh

Jen Marsh


wringing hands

for worry or thought

light slipping in between the palms

maybe this is what i can give you

small shady touch


what is held in the bones

of flying birds

air and life

dark and hidden

under meat

and wing

i want to give you something

i have been wringing my hands over this

letting light in and out

life in the dark air

no one wants to be lonely

we offer each other what we believe we can spare.


As a poet, I am constantly asking questions about life and death. I am concerned with love, loss, and grief, and with the struggle to find reason in living. In Alice Fulton’s essay Of Formal, Free, and Fractal Verse, she talks about creating a form for the poem that is born out of the work itself, and shaped in part by certain repeated words or images. I think about this when considering how my poem will sit on the page as a reflection of living—what pattern exists in uncertainty; what dichotomy creates the whole?


Jen March is a poet in the MFA program at Hamline University. She is a founding member of the Graduate Liberal Studies student group, West Egg Literati, which sets up readings in the Twin Cities, and publishes rock, paper, scissors, a literary magazine of GLS student work. She was on the editorial board for the 2006 issue of Water~Stone Review, and has interned with Lit 6 Project, Minnesota Center for Book Arts, and Graywolf Press. She is the recipient of a 2006 Artist’s Grant from Mizna: A Forum for Arab American Art. Her work has appeared in Freshwater and The Northridge Review.


MN Artists