I’ve been feeling lousy about my intermittent output over the last 6 weeks, so I’m just gonna slap this one down without much commentary and let you take it from there! I was so psyched to find some new, engaging work through that National Book Award long list last month, that I thought I’d just pull in some of the other finalists whose names I didn’t recognize. One was Ada Limon (b. 1976). She must be worldly, because her name is an anagram for "a mondial." Enjoy -ed.
WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE TO US AND THE WORDS WE USE
All these great barns out here in the outskirts,
black creosote boards knee-deep in the bluegrass.
They look so beautifully abandoned, even in use.
You say they look like arks after the sea’s
dried up, I say they look like pirate ships,
and I think of that walk in the valley where
J said, You don’t believe in God? And I said,
No. I believe in this connection we all have
to nature, to each other, to the universe.
And she said, Yeah, God. And how we stood there,
low beasts among the white oaks, Spanish moss,
and spider webs, obsidian shards stuck in our pockets,
woodpecker flurry, and I refused to call it so.
So instead, we looked up at the unruly sky,
its clouds in simple animal shapes we could name
though we knew they were really just clouds—
disorderly, and marvelous, and ours.