A Poem by Ada Limón on Her Birthday

Ada Limón born March 28, 1976, is an American poet of Mexican America heritage, a magazine contributor, and an educator. Her 2015 poetry collection, Bright Dead Things, was a finalist for the National Book Award for Poetry, and in 2018, her book The Carrying, won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry. She is the current U.S. Poet Laureate.

She contributed her poem “Salvage” to Greenpeace’s #ClimateVisionaries Project.

To read her poem click:


by Ada Limón

On the top of Mount Pisgah, on the western
slope of the Mayacamas, there’s a madrone
tree that’s half-burned from the fires, half-alive
from nature’s need to propagate. One side
of her is black ash and at her root is what
looks like a cavity that was hollowed out
by flame. On the other side, silvery green
broadleaf shoots ascend toward the winter
light and her bark is a cross between a bay
horse and a chestnut horse, red and velvety
like the animal’s neck she resembles. I have
been staring at the tree for a long time now.
I am reminded of the righteousness I had
before the scorch of time. I miss who I was.
I miss who we all were, before we were this: half
alive to the brightening sky, half dead already.
I place my hand on the unscarred bark that is cool
and unsullied, and because I cannot apologize
to the tree, to my own self I say, I am sorry.
I am sorry I have been so reckless with your life.

“Salvage” from The Hurting Kind, © 2022 by Ada Limón –  Milkweed Editions 

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Nona Blyth Cloud has lived and worked in the Los Angeles area for over 50 years, spending much of that time commuting on the 405 Freeway. After Hollywood failed to appreciate her genius for acting and directing, she began a second career managing non-profits, from which she has retired. Nona has now resumed writing whatever comes into her head, instead of reports and pleas for funding. She lives in a small house overrun by books with her wonderful husband.
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