Author: Marjorie Saiser
Format: Paperback, 86 pages
Published: October 2001
Critical Praise for Marjorie Saiser’s Lost in Seward County
On the back cover of Lost in Seward County, a Saiser fan states she is one of Nebraska’s literary treasures. I agree. Her poetry typifies what is strong and pure among those who call Nebraska home. Ms. Saiser says in Re-Entry: “I have your genes, your no-fooling DNA.” No-fooling, indeed. Everything about this poet’s work is served straight up. In one of my favorites, Taking the Baby to the Prairie, she says: “I lift this child to grassland, / to kingbird, / to cedar and sumac, / to long roots hidden like a deer in the draw.”
Her words bring prairies to life, communicate their beauty simply and effectively. In Nine Mile Prairie, April: “The smell of plum brush so sweet it makes some exquisite nerve ache.” In Not So Much Bottom Line but Bluestem she speaks of family ties and friendship, what’s truly important: “….and I was ashamed how I had a moment before / been promoting myself, trying to get ahead, / selling myself when what matters is close against the ribs / and next to the beating noise of the heart….” This poet has won numerous awards. I say, for good reason.
• Laurel Johnson – Midwest Book Review
The poem “My Old Aunts Play Canasta in a Snow Storm” was featured on “The Writer’s Almanac” Tuesday, March 12, 2013.
Poems from Lost in Seward County
This Ain’t No Bass Boat Day
My love is in the shower,
his elbows banging the sides,
the shower small as the cabin is small,
the woods huge around the cabin, around me,
waiting in bed as I am
for my love to be done in the shower,
my love already done with fishing-
three big walleye keepers, two
thrown back-my love having already
walked down to the boat in the dark, having
already fished and come back, he says,
victorious. Ready now for a romp,
he says, in this haystack I’ve been keeping warm.
Haystack, nothing, I say. More like, I declare,
a whole darn marina. This ain’t no 16-foot Lund day.
Consult your almanac. If luck holds, if the wind is right,
this could be your twenty-footer inboard/outboard day;
this could be your off-shore racer day.
With any luck at all, I tell him, this could be your
open seas day, your unlimited hydroplane V-8
with supercharger day. This ain’t no snark day,
no jon boat on top of the car day. This ain’t no
Yellow Jacket 9.9 Evinrude day. You can start hoping,
I tell him, for a twin-hulled Hobie Catamaran day.
The moon perched as it was for luck last night,
a golden grossbeak above the flat dark lake,
you might hope for your 40-foot
three-deck Grady White day. And later,
if luck holds, if the wind is right,
we’ll have a late breakfast in town at the cafe.
If luck holds, if the wind is right, maybe our ultimate
good luck charm, the town eccentric, will return.
He’ll come into the cafe, bow to the waitress,
his green cap pulled down on his forehead
like a good omen, and he’ll shuffle in his skinny-leg way
to his favorite booth in the back,
sprinkling our future good fortune right and left,
singing and shuffling, shuffling and singing-
only slightly off-key
I don’t know why I love you like I do.
I don’t know why; I just do.