Carole Leslie Marcus

My dear sister, my other half, how we miss you — your zaniness, your vitality, your wit — your love.

3 January 1950 — 19 October 2002

See "Miracle Sky" story below.
Blog: The Journey of Writing.
August 2009. Carole, the software for this site keeps changing, moving faster than I am. I am adding to the blog because it is easier. I believe you know this. Your beloved Craig passed earlier this year. We were not told, his wife of two years did not tell us.

"You can't rival the dead for love. Lose every time..."
Toni Morrison, Jazz

Hope, Your sister Carole wrote the poem below (untitled) approximately one year after my first husband died. As I reread it, I am reminded how profoundly gifted she was. Perhaps it was meant to be given to you now, a year after her passing. Donna, October 2003

Revisions of home.
Books on the mantel.
Chair of ten years.
Dust, the old thumbprints.

Not unusual,
this life after death.
What connects all things:
either habit,
the daily routine
that binds two people
when one is gone

Or an energy
the survivor sits with
in a dark corner talking;

the spirit struggling
to live through all it had known,
until even
these pieces of furniture

seem drained,
no longer practical?

Answers never come.
the acceptance
of this fact –

then the slow beginning
of nothing familiar,
changes that had never
stopped coming,
distance and its evidence –

until like a dream of a woman
being pulled back,
unable to continue running,
the memory rolls over
gently, lifeless.

Carole Leslie Marcus, 1977


Dedicated to sons Joshua and Daniel Abril

Either tumbled or thrown, they must learn how to fall
without breaking. For them, there is always that falling,

that breaking down, that struggle of a born-backward growth
from boulders to stones. But first they must learn

how to skid water three leaps at a time, how to assimilate
as chalk on someone’s sidewalk, and how to lie, still as stones,

on an old woman’s patio collecting soot and dust. While
once they held the weight of the world on the tips

of their shoulders, they have settled, lump backed,
in community corners, waiting to turn into sand,

and in that way be blown toward oblivion
through the fingers of children.

Carole Leslie Marcus

Before Stars

Before there were stars night was an eyeless staring
with nowhere to look leading into, unmapped by any chart

and always losing itself. Because of this, women were born,
formed from the faces of candles, gasoline lanterns, or

kerosene lights, with nothing to see looking onto,
and which night knew nothing about from its distance.

Then came their flames rising like points from their
blind spots, forming stars, which night looking out of was seen

seeing women.

Carole Leslie Marcus


Your books on the front porch resound of you,
poetry, fertile sparse pages, all come inside.

I select for your children the practical: dictionaries,
a thesaurus, books about Einstein and seashells

How proud you’d be as they leave for college
two brothers together, you and I sisters instead

We too once trounced to school, an inspiring universe, hand in hand, to renew ourselves in each other

Listen! I hear you reading, your diction perfect, like royalty even as your world caves in

Then your children off on bicycles,
or maybe worse, with questionable buddies

While you struggle against the blinding white of day,
trampled bones, renegade blood unleashed

The assaults upon you unyielding,
cherished echoes of family undone

Bright possibilities pushed aside, until near end
you find yourself again, effervescent, aglow

And then you were gone, died so suddenly,
and I am left with only half of myself.

Hope Marcus
12 August 2003

Miracle Sky. Read news article below.


Your dawning silhouette spreads like a river through my slotted window blinds opened each night so the morning will find you.

You come not from the obscure, disguised as footprints along the waters edge, or as imprints on a moist grassy lawn.

But from brightening horizons, your brilliance camouflaged in sunrise and sunsets, hues of pink and orange that I cannot touch or embrace as I comb wispy plains for a trace of you.

A whisper, a breath before you again dissipate into invisible dimensions now closed to me even though we always travelled together to the end of our worlds.

Hope Marcus, Nov. 2002

Poetry doesn't come anymore, but you do in dreams, I search and search. Last night I stumbled into another room, a single person, seemingly you, leaning on a white desk, a look-alike years ago in a golden dress, perhaps reflecting sunset.

Hours before, in real time, I'd seen a photograph of two toddlers with bobbed brown hair, twenty months apart in age and suddenly we were as if two children again.

October 2007

Three Attention Deficit Sisters and the Mafia
by Hope Marcus and Carole Marcus

Carole in Key West just days before she died. Mid-October, 2002.
The Hemingway House in Key West

At the time of her death Carole worked in the bookstore at the Hemingway House.

During breaks, she'd sit next to the trellis overlooking the pool and read and read and read.

Carole Leslie Marcus, age 19, Boston. Carole, mother, sister, best friend— love of my life.
Please note: My sister was a prolific writer but now many of her poems are missing. If anyone has any of her writings — poems, shorts stories or otherwise, please contact me by phone (305) 661-8912 or Email Contact
August 2009 (Added April 2010)


Craig died of cancer in February of 2009. We were not told.

"You can't rival the dead for love. Lose every time..."
Toni Morrison, Jazz

I posted the following on our blog with a picture of him.


I've begun this post many times, started and stepped back, in what language to reach you? Each time I try for something bold to write, a thought reflecting loss and bravery, I see instead? your evidence on the mossy tree spirit you tacked onto the sea grape trunk, among the sprigs and sway of green welcoming like the great aunts whose echoes you penned on a box after my sister died when the preponderant heavens opened, and you knew then, before then, those awaiting skies, opening.

Carole and Craggie, Craggie and Carole, how I miss you both.