Everything gets scrubbed with an old towel
torn in two, then soaked in water and soap
and bleach: baseboards, the kitchen walls,

the stone tile backsplash behind the stove.
Then bulbs are replaced in light fixtures,
the closets emptied of clothes that have

outgrown their use or usefulness.
Someone mentions that this furious
cleaning at the start of the year

has reference in the Bible, but I have
no memory of what chapter or verse. All
I know is the old soul wants to slip

away from its old moorings and into
a clean new outfit that smells of laundry
on the line. Thinned of last year’s flaking

whitewash and scoured of any traces of mold,
it wants to travel abroad and check itself
into a little hotel in a country it’s never

been to, slide the key card in the door
of a room where the sheets have been
turned down just so, and fluffy towels

wait on the rack. There are two perfect
chocolate bonbons laid out in welcome on
the pillow; and outside, the whole city waits

to be explored by morning’s first light.


In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.

Series Navigation← ImprovisationMy mother turns 78 and texts →

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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