Writing the Distance: Marybeth Holleman

The Covid 19 pandemic is isolating Alaskan writers. We can no longer attend workshops or public readings. The coffee bars where we met with other writers are closed. To bridge these physical gaps, 49 Writers is providing this on-line forum for Alaskans writing the distance. Marybeth Holleman provides today’s poem and photograph.

Dreaming A Different Origin Story

All my dreams have people in them.
Lots of people.
Lots of crowds.
Because I can’t, in waking life, right now, none of us can.
So my dreams give them to me, the people.
And in my dreams there are bats.
Bats flying free over our heads in the light of dawn.
And we are looking up, we are pointing at them, we are smiling.
The bats are free, and the cages in the markets stand empty.
And the people in the markets are buying colors.
They are smiling, the people, their cheeks rosy as the red apples.
And the bats fly free, the chickens and dogs and pangolins, free.
The cages, stacked high, are all empty.
And nearby wild deer and rabbits graze bright green grasses.
The people are sitting on the bright grasses, eating with their hands.
They are eating oranges, tomatoes, peaches, green beans, grapes.
They are feeding each other like newlyweds, hand to mouth.
They are leaning on each other, hugging, laughing, looking up at the free flying bats.
And we are all smiling, and we are all together, and we are all alive.


Marybeth Holleman is author of The Heart of the Sound, co-author of Among Wolves, and co-editor of Crosscurrents North. Raised in North Carolina’s Smoky Mountains, she transplanted to Alaska’s Chugach Mountains 30 years ago. www.marybethholleman.com.

1 thought on “Writing the Distance: Marybeth Holleman”

  1. Beautiful and hopeful poem, Marybeth. I love the image of leaning on each other. Thank you.

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