Landscape, with Ruby-Throated Hummingbird

Sliver of ruby in the emerald grass,
flash of sun— You’ve promised me

the rain’s curtain of beads won’t drown
the flickering wish uttered by the hibiscus;

you’ve sworn the bees in the hive won’t fold
their lemon-colored cards deckle-edged

with sugar. I believe you as I believe
the wind ruffling the orderly hedges,

turning the hapless pair of green
plastic garden pails on their sides.

You teach my heart to set itself
afloat on the skin of the sea,

tiny urn bearing its few remaining
cubes of sweetness. If I am calm,

it’s only because your name thrums
a feathered bruise just under my lips.


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.

2 Replies to “Landscape, with Ruby-Throated Hummingbird”

  1. afloat on the skin of the sea,

    tiny urn bearing its few remaining
    cubes of sweetness.

    Great lines! I also love the close (and most of the rest of it). There can never be enough humingbird poems, I think.

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