Would you like a hand to hold, said the woman I had just met, as we made our way into the surf. I had just mentioned I didn’t know how to swim, but wanted to wade. At our feet the water darkened then foamed. Coquina clams burrowed into the sand, and periwinkles, and sand hoppers. I shook my head and smiled. She strode out to deeper water, dove under; then floated on her back, as comfortable as someone in a hammock, feet pointed toward the horizon. The waves rolled in and out. The current pulled beneath, around my legs. The depth of letting go is always changing: that bit of sand erodes as soon as the heel touches down. Boys guided kites and ran toward the jetty. Farther away, row upon row of hotels and sunblocked tourists. Where we were, the gulls swooped lower, crowned the evening with their lonely sounding cries. We rolled up our towels and made our way back across the road as the sea began to stretch into vaster dark.
In response to small stone (95).
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.