A Brief Analysis of “Overpass” by Ada Limón

I greatly related to the poetry collection The Carrying, by Ada Limón. I understood her struggle with conceiving and reproduction, as I’ve had my own losses, and that connection with death is prevalent throughout each poem. The strongest of poems, and with many layers, is a reflection from years past.

In Limón’s “Overpass”, there’s a subtle reference to how proximity to death allows you to reevaluate your life and see how death intrudes in even the smallest moments. “I don’t think I worshipped/ him, his deadness, but I liked the evidence/ of him, how it felt like a job to daily/ take note of his shifting into the sand” shows an almost morbid fascination with how things change. An obsession with how death changes you and how you see the world. Initially, there’s an unadulterated curiosity about the world and its possessions. The search for “a bottle top, a man’s black boot, a toad” and then, without much effort on the narrator’s part, the inevitable find of death and transformation. 

This change is also alluded to in the first line when the narrator says “the road wasn’t as hazardous then”. On first pass, this line could be read as literal change, a time before new construction in the town. It could also be deeper, referencing a time when the narrator was innocent, before she experienced death and loss, and before the roads to healing and understanding (the whys of it all) were less “hazardous”. I don’t think it too far of a reach to interpret how the narrator’s “bendy girl body” was once pliable, before it failed or experienced the overhaul of adulthood and the risks of pregnancy and miscarriage. It feels that there, through language and imagery, the narrator discovers a monotonous connection with how one might “check on [him] each day” as you would a fetus, at risk of being unborn.

Usually, I am not a poetry reader, but this collection and how someone who has been through what I’ve gone through “carries grief” drew me in. I hope to share more thoughts with you as I read more of The Carrying.

Link to “Over Pass”

Good Readdance,

P.S. I initially wrote this for a very short essay for my Hispanic Women Writers course but continued it into a blog post because I felt connected to it? I’m not sure. But I hope you follow the link and read the poem and enjoy it, and The Carrying, as much as I did. If you are interested in reading more posts like this just let me know. I never know these days!

P.S.S. As I have the book and didn’t take this from the link, here’s the citation.

Limón, Ada. “Overpass.” The Carrying, Corsair Poetry, 2018, pp 38.

Coping with Life

So…as most of you know I just recently lost a child. It is definitely the most pain I’ve ever been in my entire life. It’s only been two months, since October 23, and yet it still feels like it was yesterday. I know that most people are saying little greeting card phrases like ‘take it day by day’, ‘only time will heal’, ‘You’re young! You will have another child’ and ‘everything happens the way it’s supposed to’ but it doesn’t help.

Honestly, I don’t know what will. If I did, I would share it with the world and every woman who is going through the grief of miscarriage would be healing and moving on with her life. Some days I don’t think about it, I coast through work and work hard in class. I draw, read and write and yet…it’s there in the back of my mind.

Earlier I stated that you never know how painful it will be until you go through it and that’s so true. I never thought that I would be this in love with a baby. I never thought that I would wake up every morning knowing I was going to be a mother and just smile. I never thought that I would miss my symptoms after they go away.

I often times find myself repeating “I just want my baby back” even though I know it’s completely impossible. I daydream of being misdiagnosed and still being pregnant. I spent time wondering what her kicks would’ve felt like. The other day, I even went as far as to look up how far long I would be and how big the baby would be. Yes, this is unhealthy and yes, I shouldn’t have done it but I needed to.

I wish I could say this post will end on a good note but it won’t. I’m going to continue with my life. I’m going to work hard and I’m going to finish school to be a stylist. I’m going to shovel books under my nose and write my new novel like crazy. I’m going to do all of this…and still grieve my child. I’d like to say it’s because I’m strong but I’d be lying. It’s because I have to. If I’m not going to be a mother than what am I? Who am I? I have to keep moving.

I was told that one of the healing ways is to get it out. To write about it and tell my story. I was told to reach out to others who’ve been in my situation and I’m trying but…it’s not like I know anyone in Orlando whose been through this.  I understand that it would help to talk to someone who understands how I feel, to give me that extra support. My guy is super supportive. He loves me so much and I can tell that the miscarriage hit him too but we are stronger than before. I just wish that our strength didn’t come out of something so painful. I guess that’s life then.

Until next time