Conversation that Ends with a Dream of Accounting

This entry is part 50 of 63 in the series Morning Porch Poems: Autumn 2011

All these years. How many years?
Ten? Eleven? That’s great. No,
I don’t have a portfolio. How great
that you could spend so much time
on vacation. White sands. I was there
just once: centuries ago. No, I’ve never
been to that Marina. I saw your pictures
in the infinity pool. That’s cool. It’s hard
to take time off; it catches up to you. I’ve
often wondered, why are all the people in
your photos, in restaurants all the time?
And everyone with a cell phone. The waiter
is a vegetable vendor? He’s putting himself
through school? I’m tempted to ask if he
will stock my mother’s pantry every Monday.
At her age, she prefers fruit and green
leafies. She texts me every few weeks
to say her cupboard’s getting bare: Send
. Where’s that tree with bills
clipped to the leaves, which passersby
hardly notice? I’m gripped by spasms
that keep me from falling asleep at night.
And when I do, I dream of accountants
pursuing me with an abacus in each
hand. They’re dressed in grim or grey,
but the beads click like hungry teeth in day-
glo colors. You know I’ve never been good
at numbers. I used to know but have forgotten
how to reckon by them— something about ones,
tens, hundreds, thousands: expenditures
on one hand, omissions on the other.


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 (forthcoming, 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, hand-binds books, and listens to tango music.


  1. amazing – I was quite sure this was you, Dave. Luisa has your voice today (yesterday)


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