This entry is part 28 of 55 in the series Morning Porch Poems: Spring 2012


It’s that paper-thin hour just after rain, and the windows are open, and fragments of sky are visible behind a haze of leaves. One by one the lights come on in houses down the way. The odors of supper fill the air: charred meat, boiled potatoes, onions. The smell of wilted greens does not carry clean, unlike the tang of mint from the garden, the neighbor’s jasmine. A voice on the radio talks of this time last year, the soldiers raiding the fugitive’s safe house, the helicopter letting them down in the cabbage patch. The burial at sea with no witnesses. And now the neighbor is working on his back gate, taking advantage of the good hour or so of remaining light. Lately, he’s taken to smoking Cuban cigars; the sweet, leaf-smoky note adds itself to what’s gathered: an odd bouquet. He’s put in a small solar panel attached to a motion-sensor light. The frame of white plastic tilts up among the ivy. I watch as he tests it and it flickers on, a warning flare of yellow.


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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