Theories of Time and Space
This remarkable poem, Theories of Time and Space illustrate why she was made Poet Laureate, it takes specifics - the look and feel of the Gulf, and imbues them with powerful personal messages. Note the last two lines - the photograph, who you were (but no longer are) will be waiting on your return.
Everywhere you go will be somewhere you’ve never been. Try this:
head south on Mississippi 49, one-by-one mile markers ticking off
another minute of your life. Follow this to its natural conclusion – dead end
at the coast, the pier at Gulfport where riggings of shrimp boats are loose stitches
in a sky threatening rain. Cross over the man-made beach, 26 miles of sand
dumped on a mangrove swamp - buried terrain of the past. Bring only
what you must carry - tome of memory,its random blank pages. On the dock
where you board the boat for Ship Island, someone will take your picture:
the photograph - who you were -will be waiting when you return.
copyright by Natasha Trethewey