Storm Warning

The barred owl calls, Who cooks for you?
Who cooks for you all?
Along the cobbled

streets now clear of cars, the lamps come on
at dusk. Banks of clouds haunch low on the horizon,

waiting for the soup to boil. Where’s the hail
of locusts, the plague of boils, the black

deaths clustered like walnuts on the branch?
Squirrels forage in the quiet before the storm.

Bead by bead they’ll hide their store
of afflictions, enough to eat through the cold.


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.

9 Replies to “Storm Warning”

  1. You liked that “Who cooks for you?” call translation, eh? Barred owls around here always leave a short pause in the middle, like this:

    “Who cooks — for you?”

    The second time through, the “all” sounds deep and gurgly, the sound of air escaping around a knife blade embedded in a human throat.

    This might be regional dialect, though!

    I liked “waiting for the soup to boil”.

    1. That’s a very poetic description of the “all” part, Larry! I don’t think ours are quite that gutteral, nor do they pause in the middle. But almost all birds have regional accents, as I’m sure you know.

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