for Melissa Rosella Marion, my first reader:

Thank you for believing in me.

In memoriam

To answer the question you didn't ask
but which creased your brow:
I don't know why we keep struggling.
It's the end of February;
the sun still stays in bed most days.
What are we to insist?
—I ask with a voice muffled
by uncertainty
& therefore fear.
On another day, in another time,
you asked a different question.
The answer, I remember, was
I wanna belong to the living.
I have lost your words,
but the urge to reply remains.

for Melissa Rosella Marion, 1985–2021

About this poem

  • Melissa Marion was born in Perth, Ontario, Canada. She was a photographer, writer, & traveler. She died on 20 Feburary 2021.
  • View Melissa's photography on her Instagram.
  • The quote in line 13 is from Joni Mitchell's All I Want.
  • This poem was first published in The Wild Word.