Lisa Marie Brodsky

Born and raised in Chicago, IL, Lisa Marie Brodsky was the Martha Meir Renk Graduate Fellow at the University of Wisconsin–Madison where she received an MFA in Poetry in 2005. She has been featured on Madison Public Radio, WISC-TV, and in Madison Magazine. Her poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction have been published in The North American Review, Circle Magazine, The Southern Ocean Review, Hippocampus Magazine, Verse Wisconsin, and Pirene's Fountain, among others. She is the Wisconsin Director of the Alzheimer's Poetry Project and writes about the illness in her chapbook We Nod Our Dark Heads (Parallel Press, 2008). Her latest poetry collection is Motherlung (Salmon Poetry, 2014) and she teaches and lectures around the state on healing through the written word. Brodsky is on faculty of AllWriters' Workplace & Workshop and is a vocational assistant for adults with disabilities in Madison and lives in Evansville with her husband and three stepchildren.


The rosebuds did not open
this year and you began to suspect.

The wind at your back
felt more like a push.

Balloons that filled the sky
like swollen swallows

saddened you because
it took such inhalation

such exhalation. You decided
to do everything

in and out, to try to copy
the breath, everything up

and down, to copy the chest.
But the cough, which catches

you by surprise each time,
gives you away and the head

scarves in the wardrobe
tell your secrets.