Marilyn Zelke-Windau

Marilyn Zelke-Windau
126 Giddings Ave
Sheboygan Falls WI 53085

Born and raised in Chicago, Marilyn Zelke-Windau lives in Sheboygan Falls. Her careers have been as a middle school and elementary school art teacher, manager of the Appleton Gallery of Arts, a workshop facilitator, and a docent at John Michael Kohler Art Center. She has enjoyed painting with words since she was a teenager. Her free verse poems have appeared in many printed and online venues including Verse Wisconsin, Stoneboat, Seems, Fox Cry Review, qarrtsiluni, Your Daily Poem, Midwest Prairie Review, Echolocations, and other anthologies. Her chapbook Adventures in Paradise (Finishing Line Press) and a full-length book of poems,Momentary Ordinary (Pebblebrook Press), will be published in 2014.

Adventures in Paradise, Finishing Line Press, 2014
Momentary Ordinary, Pebblebrook Press, 2014



Perched on a right angle
grey, concrete sill overlook,
with 180 degrees of peripheral eye,
pigeons minute waltz,
sidestepping left-right,
back, forward, then wing it solo
to street level to search
for tree seed, wrapper residue,
to bide their time
by pecking pavement.

Pigeons are possessive chest thrusters.
Puffed in muted, sleek feathers
they wait for raindrops on city sidewalks,
pick their way through puddles,
preen humidity.

Flocking to regroup in plazas,
where bronze horses abide,
they pay homage to bigger beasts,
nestle on heroes’ heads, hats,
and on sworded hands
raised in charged leadership.

They grey-swoop, silver-glide,
intimidate pedestrians inches from faces,
autos feet from windshields,
from exits, from parking spaces.

Pigeons own cities.
No license, no permit,
they squat, grandfathered in
by their grandfathers.
They are the huddle cooers
of urban uptowns,
the detectives of ordinary environs.

First published in qarrtsiluni

Pillar History

In the basement there’s a 4 x 4 x 7.
It’s cedar, painted white,
props up the stairway to the kitchen.
You can go up or down.

On the post are horizontal lines
to record the verticals
of children’s’ lives.
Three sets,

Firstborns always have
the highest marks.

At 1989 the pillar history stops
but not the lives.
Youngest becomes tallest,
oldest shortest,
middle retains growth stability.
Parents shrink.

You can go up or down.

First published in Verse Wisconsin