To celebrate National Poetry Month, we present Ellen Bass reading a poem from her new collection, “Indigo” (Copper Canyon). In these pages, Bass, an award-winning poet and co-author of the best-selling “The Courage to Heal” (2008), celebrates love, beauty and simple pleasures. She also confronts mortality and various kinds of loss. The writing balances tenderness with exactness, gently reminding readers to live with courage and empathy in our broken world. Here, in “The Orange-and-White-Heeled Shoes,” the speaker looks back at a shared moment with her mother, savoring their time together yet keenly aware that memory, like life, is often tinged with pain.

Elizabeth Lund writes about poetry for The Washington Post.

POETRY READING