Letter to Fortune

Dear hand that shakes the cup
and rolls the dice out on the table,
what is the luck of the draw today?
The trees stir their bagfuls of newly-
minted green. Somewhere, water tinkles
like silver. Even the hairs on your chest
are brushed with copper. Put on your crisp
white shirt, snap on your black bow tie, do
up your cummerbund and tails; and deal.
I never said I’d stopped playing. High winds
rearrange the clouds, having learned too
about this game of chance: your turn now
to guess which one is hiding the sun.


In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.

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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.

3 Replies to “Letter to Fortune”

  1. I never said I’d stopped playing. /… your turn now/ to guess which one is hiding the sun.


    1. Game One

    “Quick, guess where the pebble is,
    and if you do, you will be happy!”
    What if this were the only wager
    in a game of chance of opening
    and closing a cup over a rolling
    pebble, not unlike the hide-’n-seek
    the sun plays now with clouds
    darting hither and thither with
    winds blowing from all directions?
    Will you take it? Will I dare?
    What have we got to lose,
    one way or another? I hold
    your hand and you squeeze mine,
    a signal to choose the arrant hiding cup,
    and voila: I miss it. Happiness, too?

    Happy is as happy does: you are
    with me to roll the dice. Would I care
    willy-nilly where happiness lies?
    Under the cup where the pebble
    has custody of nothing, least of all
    my joie d’vivre — you, my love,
    who will be my ransom should I
    lose this game of chance?

    2. Game Two (After a Letter to Fortune)

    “Quick now, guess now: high winds
    rearrange the clouds, having learned
    too about this game of chance.
    Which one is hiding the sun? Which?
    Mind the wager: if you fail this test,
    should you pin the tail on the wrong
    side of the donkey, or choose poorly,
    you will keep on guessing all your life
    whether or not you can be happy.”

    Happy is as happy does: you are
    with me to roll the dice. Would I care
    willy-nilly where happiness lies?
    With you, my love, neither wind nor
    cloud will hide the sun. You are my sun.
    Should I choose madly, choose badly,
    what of it? I never said I’d stop playing.

    —Albert B. Casuga

    1. Spell checks, please: (Posting pronto does this to me :–[ )
      In line 8 of “Game One” that should read: darting hither and thither with…
      In Line 3 of “Game Two”, please drop one of the repeated “about”.
      Thanks, Dave. A la prochaine on the porch.
      (Posting these, too, in my blog.)

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