Born in New York in 1950, Maurya Simon is the author of Ghost Orchid (Red Hen Press, 2004), Weavers (2000), The Golden Labyrinth (1995), Speaking in Tongues (1991), Days of Awe (1990), and The Enchanted Room (1986). She is the recipient of a 1999 NEA fellowship in poetry, and she has been awarded a University Award from The Academy of American Poets, the Celia B. Wagner and Lucille Medwick Memorial Awards from the Poetry Society of America, and a Fulbright/Indo-American Fellowship. Simon has been a Fellow at Hawthornden Castle in Edinburgh, Scotland, as well as a Fellow at the Baltic Centre for Writers and Translators in Visby, Sweden. Her poems have appeared in Poetry, TriQuarterly, The Kenyon Review, The Gettysburg Review, The Georgia Review, Grand Street, Agni, Ploughshares, Shenandoah, The Los Angeles Times Book Review, Calyx, New England Review, and in more than fifty additional literary magazines and journals. Her poetry has also been collected in more than a dozen anthologies. She is a professor in the Creative Writing Department at the University of California, Riverside and lives in Mt. Baldy, in the Angeles National Forest of the San Gabriel Mountains, in southern California.
The Fishermen at Guasti Park
In the first days of summer the three elms, those slightly opened fans, unfold their shadows across the river. Two dogs arrive exhausted, tongues dripping, and settle down near the frogbait jars. Aiming their poles toward the center of water, the Sunday fishermen watch the light pirouette off the opposite shore. Their wives peel onions, open wine, do their nails. Most of the men think as little about gravity as they do about war and the weightlessness of time. How could they know that it is only the single, collective thought of their abandoned childhoods that keeps the world afloat?
From The Enchanted Room, published by Copper Canyon Press, 1986. Copyright © 1986 by Maurya Simon. Reprinted with permission of Copper Canyon Press: Post Office Box 271, Port Townsend, WA 98368