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Simon Joseph Ortiz (1941-)

The Margins Where We Live


              1Overnight, the air froze.
              2Crystallized. Now, a thin breath
              3lies on the prairie hills.
              4Light becomes certain in cold,
              5not glazing, not luminous,
              6only captured and stilled.
              7The margin of reality
              8is the margin of illusion.
              9In that margin between
            10the prairie and us lies space,
            11vastness that confirms existence.
            12It's the air frozen
            13and it's our awareness.
            14Nothing more, nothing less
            15confirms our belief.

            16The road will be deadly
            17and will still take icy skill
            18to drive on.
            19We will have safe passage.
            20The margins will always be the space
            21where we live.


Online text copyright © 2004, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: Ortiz, Simon J. After and Before the Lightning. Tucson: The University of Arizona Press, 1994: 108.
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: 2004
Recent editing: 1:2004/6/30


Other poems by Simon Joseph Ortiz