Just when hope withers, the visa is granted.
The door opens to a street like in the movies,
clean of people, of cats; except it is your street
you are leaving. A visa has been granted,
‘provisionally’-a fretful word.
The windows you have closed behind
you are turning pink, doing what they do
every dawn. Here it’s gray. The door
to the taxicab waits. This suitcase,
the saddest object in the world.
Well, the world’s open. And now through
the windshield the sky begins to blush
as you did when your mother told you
what it took to be a woman in this life.

Writer Rita Dove was the youngest person and the first African American to be appointed Poet Laureate Consultant by the Library of Congress. She has also won the Pulitzer for her book Thomas and Beulah.

Born on August 28, 1952 in Akron, Ohio, African-American poet Rita Dove loved poetry and music from a young age. She was an exceptional student and was invited to the White House as a Presidential Scholar out of high school. She studied in Germany on a Fulbright Scholarship, later teaching creative writing at Arizona State University. She has won numerous awards for her work, including a 1987 Pulitzer Prize for the book of poetry Thomas and Beulah. Other books from Dove include Mother Love and Sonata Mulattica.

Education and Personal Life

Born in Akron, Ohio on August 28, 1952, Rita Dove developed a love for learning and literature at an early age in a household that encouraged reading. She was honored as a Presidential Scholar, being ranked as one of the top 100 high school students in the nation, and as a National Merit Scholar attended Ohio’s Miami University, graduating in 1973 summa cum laude. She subsequently studied abroad in Germany before returning to the states and earning her M.F.A. from the University of Iowa.