From the book:

Poet’s Note

Perhaps because of the relative size of the demographic

involved, the term downsizing is broadly familiar, short-hand

for something different from moving, as in:

down:  higher to lower   adv

size:  space, value, circumstances   noun

downsized:   a state of mind   adj

Downsizing one’s home can be welcomed or avoided,

the result of any number of reasons.  This writer has been

engaged in the process for the past two years and is, for  

the present time, downsized.  The collection offered here

is the result of observing and pondering widely different

phenomena which enlightened that experience, at least

metaphorically.  If nothing else, these reflections and

subsequent poetry have served as healthy distractions.   

Excellence in craft continues as a worthy goal.  Being a

poet remains a mystery.  

New Home

Without warning,

she flew straight toward the patio door,

changed course on a dime, and flew up

to the wall lantern, six inches from the glass.

Day after day, flight after flight, the same trajectory:

she races to the lantern lid, bringing twigs,

grasses, a stray string or two, weaving them

in a pattern all her own, the wall her ballast.


I am settled in now, one year later.

I want to think she followed me here.  

We can go on together for now,

taking care to keep our distance

though sharing space, the quiet,

the irrelevance of size.


MARY GARDNER’s poems have appeared in anthologies published by McMaster University and the Tower Poetry Society, Hamilton, Ontario; The Healing Muse, Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, NY; The Pen Woman, NLAPW; and in such venues as the Syracuse International Film Festival, Syracuse Poster Project, and a chamber music work  commissioned by the Skaneateles Festival. Her two chapbooks, When All Danger of Frost is Past (2015) and Place Settings (2017) were published by FootHills Publishing. My Life Matters, now in its fifth printing, encourages others to write about their lives. She holds a Certificate in Poetry from the Downtown Writers Center, which is affiliated with the Arts Branch, Syracuse YMCA and with independent writing programs across the United States. She is an active member of the National League of American Pen Women, Central New York Branch. In an earlier career, she published twenty-two professional articles on human resources and management development and earned a Master of Public Health degree from Johns Hopkins University.     


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Mary L. Gardner

To see Mary’s two other

FootHills chapbooks:

Place Settings - 2017

When All Danger of Frost is Past - 2015