Sigue Caminando (Keep Walking)
by Ana Flores
My father the architect held the end of the measuring tape.
Keep walking, he yelled to me
In Spanish as the feet rolled out and his cigar fumed.
We were standing in pine woods finding the lot for our new home.
His ashes fell on dry needles. His smoke
Caught in the branches.
Cuba and Connecticut share nothing except the sea.
Now we lived in Connecticut but we didn’t live by the sea.
When we drove to the beach my mother sat under her umbrella
And my father wore dark glasses.
I keep the ocean and his tape near.
His tape translates fragments of my life so cleanly:
The width of windows for new curtains, The area of wall that needs paint,
The run of the deer fencing protecting the vegetable garden.
Last week: A storm hit. I walked the beach.
Behind me Piping plovers chased and Engineers measured
The salt line that erased our nests.
Poetry box and poem by Ana Flores, sculptor, ecological designer, curator, and activist. Her sculptural work focusing on cultural and ecological narratives is shown internationally and included in private, corporate and institutional collections throughout the United States and abroad. For almost two decades she has been promoting interdisciplinary dialogue and groundbreaking collaborations between the arts and sciences. She has worked with communities to design award-winning outdoor installations, parks, and programming that engage people with the cultural and natural history of their local landscapes. Flores developed Poetry of the Wild in 2003 while she was an artist in residence at the Wood River Watershed Association. The project has been traveling throughout the United States for a decade now.
Flores has been invited as a visiting artist and lecturer throughout North America, Canada, Great Britain, and New Zealand. She has also taught for many years, at the Rhode Island School of Design she created numerous community-centered courses focused on the environment and healing. She maintains a studio in Rhode Island and Nova Scotia, Canada, for more on her work visit: earthinform.com