Liz Abrams-Morley’s newest collection, Beholder, was published by Word Poetry in April, 2018. Inventory, was published by Finishing Line Press in September of 2014. Necessary Turns was published by Word Poetry in 2010 and won an Eric Hoffer Award for Excellence in Small Press Publishing that year. Other collections include Learning to Calculate the Half Life (Zinka Press, 2001,) and What Winter Reveals (Plan B Press, 2005). Her poems and short stories have been published in a variety of nationally distributed anthologies, journals and ezines, and have been read on NPR. Her short story, Mitzraim Means Tight Places, was performed as part of an adjudicated series at InterAct Theatre Company in Philadelphia, PA. She has read her work in venues from New Jersey to California.
Co-founder and co-director of Around the Block Writing Collaborative, (www.aroundtheblockwriters.org) Liz is on the MFA faculty of Rosemont College and works with public school children in Philadelphia and surrounding counties, presenting literacy through arts programs. Wife, mother, grandma, activist, teacher, neighbor, sister, friend—she wades knee deep in the flow of everyday life from which she draws inspiration and, occasionally, exasperation
Inventory II: My Mother’s Owls
Most have no value,
not even sentimental.
Long before she died, my mother
lined them up as she lined up
her grandchildren, instructing each child
to choose two or three as keepsakes:
stuffed owls, pottery owls, glass owls,
not hand-blown but from Woolworth’s,
owl charms, owl pins. She had been
a hard person to buy for—
Just be nice to me all day, she’d say,
her difficult-to-fill order for every birthday until
she finally freed us, started a collection when she was well into middle-age. Owl earrings
owl pillows: Throw them all away—
the order when she finally was made to see
her lymphoma was not, indeed, some
minor blood disorder from which
she would recover. For God sakes,
they’re just things.
This maybe two weeks before
the memorial service, not even her ashes
given to us to inter for two years,
her body donated to a medical school.
You are such a pack-rat she’d say to me.
One day, I swear, you will be on one of those t.v. shows
digging your way out of your own house.
Fifteen years since and I still hear her,
her owls in two boxes in my basement.
I save what I can save.
From Inventory , copyright 2014