Academy of American Poets
View Cart | Log In 
Subscribe | More Info 
Find a Poet or Poem
Advanced Search >
Want more poems?
Subscribe to our
Poem-A-Day emails.
FURTHER READING
Poems about Time
08/22/08
by David Lehman
Figure
by Marjorie Welish
from Oracles for Youth
by Caroline Gilman
In Betweenness
by Pierre Joris
Individual Time
by Alice Notley
Meeting and Passing
by Robert Frost
Mimosa
by Mary Ruefle
On Time
by John Milton
Paper Swallow
by Stanley Moss
Poem with Lines from Pierre Reverdy
by Sandra Simonds
Real Time
by Charlie Smith
Slur
by Jacek Gutorow
Song of Quietness
by Robinson Jeffers
The Edges of Time
by Kay Ryan
The Moon in Time Lapse
by David Rivard
The Sun-Dial
by Adelaide Crapsey
Thief
by Sally Van Doren
Time does not bring relief (Sonnet II)
by Edna St. Vincent Millay
To a Young Girl at a Window
by Margaret Widdemer
What God Knew
by Marianne Boruch
Poems about Travel
Don’t Let Me Be Lonely [On the bus two women argue]
by Claudia Rankine
And the Trains Go On
by Philip Levine
Baudelaire in Airports
by Amy King
California Plush
by Frank Bidart
Cattails
by Nikky Finney
Dark Matter
by Jack Myers
Evening Song
by Sherwood Anderson
Flying
by Sarah Arvio
Go Greyhound
by Bob Hicok
I am Raftery the Poet
by Anthony Raftery, read by James Wright
Looking for The Gulf Motel
by Richard Blanco
Out-of-the-Body Travel
by Stanley Plumly
Passing Through Albuquerque
by John Balaban
Road Warriors
by Charles Wright
Slow Waltz Through Inflatable Landscape
by Christian Hawkey
Souvenir from Anywhere
by Harryette Mullen
The Bus through Jonesboro, Arkansas
by Matthew Henriksen
The Highwayman
by Alfred Noyes
The Strange Hours Travelers Keep
by August Kleinzahler
The Tinajera Notebook
by Forrest Gander
The Traveling Onion
by Naomi Shihab Nye
Travel
by Robert Louis Stevenson
Travel
by Edna St. Vincent Millay
Traveling
by Malena Mörling
Traveling Light
by Linda Pastan
Trip Hop
by Geoffrey Brock
Window
by Carl Sandburg
Window Seat: Providence to New York City
by Jacqueline Osherow
Sponsor a Poet Page | Add to Notebook | Email to Friend | Print

Manifest Destiny

 
by Cynthia Lowen

The god I’d left behind sent one last email 
before returning to his people.

That summer was sixty-five degrees and fluorescent. 
I was working at a law firm.

The logical mind thinks,
You’ll be paid for your suffering.

Paradise is of this earth 
and it is yours,
said the copy-machine.

The impenetrable old growth of paper on my desk 
begged to be made
irrelevant.

When I took off my skirt-suit I felt like my mother, or myself

done pretending 
to be my mother.

I stood at the edge 
of a New World.

I stared up the long rocky coast.

Whichever way was something to bump against 
I pressed on in that direction.

It was like a sickness.
It was like the uncontrollable urge 
to eat dirt.
About this poem:
"I’ve been exploring how the 19th century concept of manifest destiny—driving the westward expansion across North America in the 1800s—might play out in the context of a modern-day relationship. What frontiers in ourselves, our environments, and each other do we seek out and attempt to dominate? What motivates us to forge towards the unknown?"

—Cynthia Lowen






Copyright © 2013 by Cynthia Lowen. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-A-Day on December 27, 2013. Browse the Poem-A-Day archive.
Larger TypeLarger Type | Home | Help | Contact Us | Privacy Policy Copyright © 1997 - 2014 by Academy of American Poets.