What Leaf

What leaf is small and black and falls
more slowly than a feather?

What ink washes deeper blue
then sable as it nears the shore?

What crystal spangles every
lidded eye on trees and bushes?

What letter writes itself over
and over in the wind?

A fire dances up in the trash burner,
the brightest thing.

Luisa Igloria


This one borrows lines from my Morning Porch entry of October 21, 2008. (The title is my own.) Thanks, Luisa!

Series Navigation← Two more Morning Porch poems from Luisa Igloria and a comment on free cultureWith winter’s gift of unimpeded sight, →

Poet Luisa A. Igloria (Poetry Foundation web page, author webpage ) is the winner of the 2015 Resurgence Prize (UK), the world’s first major award for ecopoetry, selected by former UK poet laureate Sir Andrew Motion, Alice Oswald, and Jo Shapcott. She is the author of What is Left of Wings, I Ask (2018 Center for the Book Arts Letterpress Chapbook Prize, selected by Natasha Trethewey); Bright as Mirrors Left in the Grass (Kudzu House Press eChapbook selection for Spring 2015), Ode to the Heart Smaller than a Pencil Eraser (Utah State University Press, 2014 May Swenson Prize), Night Willow (Phoenicia Publishing, 2014), The Saints of Streets (University of Santo Tomas Publishing House, 2013), Juan Luna’s Revolver (2009 Ernest Sandeen Prize, University of Notre Dame Press), and nine other books. She is a member of the core faculty of the MFA Creative Writing Program at Old Dominion University which she directed from 2009-2015. In 2018, she was the inaugural Glasgow Distinguished Writer in Residence at Washington and Lee University. When she isn’t writing, reading, or teaching, she cooks with her family, knits, hand-binds books, and listens to tango music.

4 Replies to “What Leaf”

  1. A rich collaboration.
    “What seas what shores what grey rocks and what islands
    What water lapping the bow
    And scent of pine and the woodthrush singing through the fog
    What images return
    O my daughter.”

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