“New Year” by Lindsay Tigue

Lindsay Tigue


The man who photographed
the very first plane to hit
air was using a camera 
for the very first time.
The Wright brothers never
married. Wilbur once said
he did not have time for both
a wife and an airplane.

I could put a husband,
a wife, or daughter in this poem.
You might think someone 
is waiting for me to come 
back home.

I spent the first day
of this new year
in Antigua, Guatemala, queasy.
I watched firecrackers
explode near my feet,
paper lanterns rising
toward sky.

At the end of the day, 
I walked through 
Antigua alone, saw a horde 
of people in black. A funeral 
march. The mourners held 
photos, and flowers, crosses, 
and signs. Slowly, they walked
through the streets.

from Rattle #42, Winter 2013

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Lindsay Tigue: “I wrote ‘New Year’ last year after a trip to Guatemala with a friend. While in Antigua, on New Year’s Day, we were supposed to go on a volcano tour, but I wasn’t feeling well and stayed back at the hostel. While my friend was gone, I wandered the streets of Antigua alone and came upon a funeral procession. I read and write poetry because of these moments that allow me to share in a more beautiful loneliness.”

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