Jeanne Murray Walker is the award-winning author of 8 volumes of
poetry and one memoir as well as a number of plays which have been
performed in theaters across the country and in London. She is an
Emeritus Professor at The University of Delaware, where she taught
for 40 years and headed the Creative Writing Concentration. Jeanne
currently serves as a poetry Mentor in The Seattle Pacific Low
Residency MFA Program. From her home outside Philadelphia
she blogs about the troubling politics of our time, reading and writing,
and the surprising power of stillness. She travels widely to speak
and read her poems in places ranging from The Library of Congress
to Romania, from Italy to Texas Canyon Country. You can find her
papers and letters archived at Wheaton College’s Buswell Library
and at The University of Delaware’s Morris Library. Jeanne has
appeared on PBS television and is frequently interviewed on the radio.
A Note from Jeanne
I’m delighted you’ve stopped by. Please linger a while to browse. Read some poems. Check out my blog and speaking schedule. If you’re near an event where I’ll be speaking, feel free to attend. If you’d like to read my blog click here. We can join forces to work for a more thoughtful world.
Jeanne Murray Walker
POEM TO SAY TO A CHILD WHILE FOLDING HIS OUTGROWN CLOTHING
While you were still unborn
our friends brought, one by one,
the clothes their children had worn:
shirts with secret pockets,
blankets, a tie gown.
And because we were unable
to find you anywhere
we pulled you from the pockets,
we stitched a fable
of a baby yet unborn.
When you finally came
we dressed you in those clothes.
All winter they were kind.
Now I fold the clothes away,
a legacy refined.
Someone else’s child
may briefly take his turn.
For parents, now, who wait,
imagining new faces,
I will enumerate
the children whose graces
became your warmest jacket:
Elizabeth and Melissa,
Patrick, Andrew, Kate
wore these clothes once.
Teddy, Bess, and Ethan.
And may their loveliness
wherever these clothes are worn
shield against loss
and pass to those unborn.