On Foot

By DIANE THIEL

 

(after a line by Edith Södergran)

On foot, I had to cross the galaxy.
I left without luggage or gear, knowing
nothing I had would be of use out there.
It felt long, but I can’t say quite how long. 
Time unfolds in space, and I soon realized
this wasn’t the average pilgrimage.
I grew thankful for the unexpected

wormholes, useful to cover some distance.
I can’t say what I needed to retrieve,
or even if, when, or where I left it.
It is a secret, kept even from me,
and frankly I’m not sure anyone will
believe this story anyway. At first,
I kept my path as far as I could from

the dark matter, though it was always there,
and I wished I could understand it more.
But once I recognized the energy
those expansions could release or create,
I knew I could take it back to the shore,
finding the swell of that particle wave
and all the light in the dark of deep space.

 

 

Diane Thiel is the author of eleven books of poetry and nonfiction. A new book of poetry, Questions from Outer Space, is forthcoming from Red Hen Press in spring 2022. Her work has appeared widely in journals such as The Hudson Review and Poetry and is reprinted in over sixty major anthologies. Thiel received her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Brown University, and she is a Regents’ Professor at the University of New Mexico. Her awards include PEN, NEA and Fulbright awards. Learn more at DianeThiel.net.

[Purchase Issue 23 here.]

On Foot

Related Posts

Image of an old radio.

My Grandmother’s Radio

CAREY BARAKA
How do I explain to you how much my grandmother loved KBC Radio’s death announcements? Every afternoon she sat there, her face full of impish delight, waiting for her enemies to die. The disembodied voice on the radio shared in her delight.

DeMisty D. Ballinger

New to Liberty: A Conversation with DeMisty D. Bellinger

DEMISTY D. BELLINGER
They’re trying to take hold of their own lives and define life for themselves instead of having the rest of the world do that for them. Desire is a big part of it too...In thinking about my own work, so much of it is about desire and love and a need to define oneself.

Image of Nathan Poole's headshot and the Issue 23 cover (piece of toast on turquoise background)

Podcast: Nathan Jordan Poole on “Idlewild”

NATHAN JORDAN POOLE
Nathan Jordan Poole speaks to managing editor Emily Everett about his story “Idlewild,” which appears in The Common’s new spring issue. In this conversation, Nathan talks about doing seasonal work at Christmas tree farms and the workers from all walks of life he met there.