Two Poems by Diane Thiel


Our grandmothers, and theirs, if they knew
of this chance crossing, they’d be spinning too.

They’d wind our names together on their distaffs,
divining children we would never have

unless they spun, knowing our lives would turn
along the woof and warp of the slow burn

of their deft shuttles, weaving for our lives
to make one cloth. They’d leave the ends untied

so we could choose—as if there were a choice—
once we spoke, once the rhythm of your voice

met mine. Our bodies barely brushed that time
we met, and spoke, but when we said good night

I held that sound inside me like a child.

first published by Provincetown Arts

Southern Cross

It wasn’t what drew me there,
but when I saw the Southern Cross
that year, visible all night down under,
turning with the hour,
it took me home, to my childhood
when I didn’t quite realize
what had risen
just above the horizon,
but I knew enough to know
I could keep that starry kite
if even for a little while
up above the boundary line.

I didn’t know it then, how special
the sighting was, my place in the world
far south enough to see it,
my hometown floating on the edge.
People looked right at the cross
and didn’t seem to notice
it was there
before it dipped below again.
Almost like a secret, that made it mine.
It was something I could turn to,
away from all the trouble,
and call my own.

first published by Novus Literary Arts

Diane Thiel is the author of eleven books of poetry and nonfiction. Her new book of poetry, Questions from Outer Space, is forthcoming from Red Hen Press in Spring 2022. Thiel received her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Brown University, and her work has appeared widely in journals such as Poetry and The Hudson Review. A Professor at the University of New Mexico, Thiel was awarded the title of Regents’ Professor in 2021. Her honors include PEN, NEA and Fulbright Awards. Thiel has traveled and lived in Europe, South America, Asia, and Australia, working on literary and environmental projects. For more information, please visit her webpage:

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