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Leaving Marks


Philip Wexler

Antelope, hunters –

            ancient cave wall

drawings of charcoal,

            red and green ochre.


Pyramids, great walls,

            cathedrals, castles,

backyard sheds

            and arbors.


Plantings, sprouts, orchids,


vegetable gardens,

            giant sequoias.


Carefully crafted words,

            handed down

on paper, digitally, told,



Songs of minstrels, choirs,

            street performers,

operas, recorded, played

            back, improvised.


Piecing together

            mosaics, quilts.

Threading embroidery,



Kiss joined to kiss.

            Ring slid on finger.

Celebrations and photos

            from every angle.


Memories remembered,

            restored.  Stories

told, retold.  The need

            not to be forgotten.

Philip Wexler lives in Bethesda, Maryland and is retired after a long career at the U.S. National Library of Medicine.  Some 200 of his poems have appeared in magazines.  His poetry books include The Sad Parade (prose poems), and The Burning Moustache, both published by Adelaide Books, The Lesser Light by Finishing Line Press, With Something Like Hope (Silver Bow Publishing) and  I Would be the Purple (Kelsay Books), the latter 3 all published in 2022.  He also organizes and hosts Words out Loud, a monthly spoken word series convened in-person at the Friends of the Library of Montgomery County (FOLMC) bookstore in Rockville, Maryland and remotely via Zoom.

Philip Wexler
Philip Wexler
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