Ann Staley Tribute at the Milwaukie Poetry Series

On Friday, the 25th of February 2022, I lost my dear friend, 20-year writing companion and inspirational teacher, the poet and essayist, Ann Staley. Ann’s death saddened the Oregon writing community she had been part of for the past 40 years, and because she had been slated to be The Milwaukie Poetry Series featured poet for July, a tribute to her and her work seemed fitting. Below is the video on the Ledding Library YouTube Channel if you’d like to watch the tribute. It featured Oregon Poet Laureate Emerita Paulann Petersen, Linda Gelbrich, Jerri Otto, and Sulima Malzin.

I shared this poem at the Reading and read it to Ann during our last visit.

Winter Light
I have learned the litany of my life,
the pattern of repetitions, responsibilities,
and delights.
I have learned more than I ever
wanted to know, dream
back into innocence,
life clean of regret, the sky cloudless.
Yet today reels me in
and what remains –
a crumb on the cutting-board, the rain-glazed cherry tree
in a neighbor’s garden, pale winter light –
is cause for celebration.
Even my hungry mouth
cannot ask for more than this –
my heart beating in its cage,
my hands opening.
         Ann Staley
         -Primary Sources

Published by Sulima Malzin

This 'Aging Rascal & Occasional Writer' invites you to embrace the world through her open window of poetry, art, activism, music, and humor.

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