Bel Canto

This entry is part 3 of 55 in the series Morning Porch Poems: Spring 2012


Courage is the first of the virtues,
because it makes all others possible. ~ Aristotle


Sweet wind that trembles the first shoots sprouting
from cracks in the walk: it is such little things
that most undo me. For instance, I know it wasn’t
the a capella voices in the high school choir we heard
singing Laudate Dominum tonight, that ruffled the leaves
or brought on the sudden evening shower. And yet, each
young face, so plaintive and perfect above concert black
and white, pulled at the edges of reverie. From open mouths,
notes of praise hovered, poured full before descent and
dissolution. Isn’t it true there is hardly anything
unconnected with any other thing
? So I must believe
that there is nothing merely in the manner of a tangent,
that each bud blooms in the way a code becomes more
and more apparent. In my palm I cradle a phone that
only hours ago, carried a message from my mother—
I am so sad, she wrote. I want to ask for your help,
whatever you can send
. What heart would not sing
everything it could muster from the depths, every
tendril, even the ones just beginning to turn green.


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.

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