Ada Limón

Ada Limón Poems

Now, we take the moon
into the middle of our brains
so we look like roadside stray cats

We'll say unbelievable things
to each other in the early morning—

our blue coming up from our roots,


Witness the wet dead snake,
its long hexagonal pattern weaved
around its body like a code for creation,

No shoes and a glossy
red helmet, I rode
on the back of my dad's

When Eve walked among
the animals and named them—
nightingale, redshouldered hawk,

Say tomorrow doesn't come.
Say the moon becomes an icy pit.
Say the sweet-gum tree is petrified.

Careful of what I carry
in my head and in my hollow,
I've been a long time worried

I like the lady horses best,
how they make it all look easy,
like running 40 miles per hour

All these great barns out here in the outskirts,
black creosote boards knee-deep in the bluegrass.

Six horses died in a tractor-trailer fire.
There. That's the hard part. I wanted
to tell you straight away so we could
grieve together. So many sad things,


Some blur of a bird makes
a kid-like laugh out of sea air
and we, heart-hardy, kick

This is the cooling part of the fever,
when everything: the jumping girder
of the Golden Gate's red limb, the tall

Down to the basics of the basics,
deep star on the horizon, full blown

In the 1973 Ford LTD we took Highway Twelve
and headed toward the wild Russian River,

They say the first thing that goes
is the short-term memory. You forget
your keys, you forget your address,

Stuck in the answer of day,
all we've got are these people to rely on,
and trees, and the grasp of a river in the mind.

It was, for a time, a loud twittering flight
of psychedelic-colored canaries: a cloud
of startle and get-out in the ornamental

It was only months when it felt like I had been
washing the dishes forever.


The man across the street is mowing 40 acres on a small lawn mower.
It's so small, it must take him days, so I imagine that he likes it. He
must. He goes around each tree carefully. He has 10,000 trees; it's

Sun in the cool expressway underpass air
and Ma calls, says it's nice out today
during her long walk through the vineyard

Ada Limón Biography

Ada Limón (born March 28, 1976) is an American poet. Limón grew up in Sonoma, California, before attending The University of Washington where she studied theater at the University of Washington School of Drama. After taking writing courses from professors, including Colleen J. McElroy, she went on to receive her MFA from New York University in 2001, where she studied with Sharon Olds, Philip Levine, Marie Howe, Mark Doty, Agha Shahid Ali, and Tom Sleigh. Her graduate class included the noted poets, Jennifer L. Knox, Gregory Pardlo, Jason Schneiderman, Kazim Ali, and Kathleen Graber. Upon graduation, she received a fellowship to live and write at the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center. In 2003, she received a grant from New York Foundation for the Arts. After 12 years in New York City, where she worked for various magazines such as Martha Stewart Living, GQ, and Travel + Leisure, she now lives in Lexington, Kentucky and Sonoma, California where she writes and teaches.)

The Best Poem Of Ada Limón

We Are Surprised

Now, we take the moon
into the middle of our brains
so we look like roadside stray cats
with bright flashlight-white eyes
in our faces, but no real ideas
of when or where to run.
We linger on the field's green edge
and say, Someday son, none of this
will be yours. Miracles are all around.
We're not so much homeless
as we are home free, penny-poor,
but plenty lucky for love and leaves
that keep breaking the fall. Here it is:
the new way of living with the world
inside of us so we cannot lose it,
and we cannot be lost. You and me,
are us and them, and it and sky.
It's hard to believe we didn't
know that before; it's hard to believe
we were so hollowed out, so drained,
only so we could shine a little harder
when the light finally came.

Ada Limón Comments

Kim Sisto Robinson 11 September 2019

LOVE Ada Limon! Her poetry speaks to my bones!

3 0 Reply
Hassan Jalal 18 October 2017

The poetry of Ada Limón is a fascinating documentary of the chaos and fragments of both the inner and the outer worlds. It is also a great record of the chaos of life and the dilemma of existence. She is a great figure of the contemporary American poetry.

3 0 Reply

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