Milagrito: Eye of the Raven

“Milagros are religious folk charms traditionally used for healing purposes and as votive offerings in Mexico, the southern United States, other areas of Latin America, as well as parts of the Iberian peninsula. …[T]hey can be constructed from gold, silver, tin, lead, wood, bone, or wax. In Spanish, the word milagro literally means miracle or surprise.”

Dear red striated muscle, vascular and
slightly bigger than my two cupped hands,

I saw your image stitched and stuffed as a well-
worn pincushion with the legend “There

is a place in my heart for you”. I cringe
at the thought of needles; and also because

I know that every eye, finger, bone, or body
part left by the wayside altar means something

has been sacrificed, given at cost for another’s
due. Crow feasting on that bit of severed

flesh, do you stop your fevered work to notice
the day is overcast and cool, doused with

the creosote smell of rain? It doesn’t fall,
only makes threats that cast a pall on our

determined plans. And your rejoinder comes alongside
calls exchanged by ravens: how mystery is never led

nor haltered, but even the bird clothed head to claw
in ashes, flashes a tin orb: a jewel in its drusy eye.


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.

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