They climbed to the promontory
and took photographs of memorials,
brushing the dirt aside to read
the letters that told of who
had been there before. She wondered
if the black specks she sighted
above the ridge were vultures; if,
after all this time, such birds
might still take an interest
in cured and leathered bodies,
mummified and resting in their caves.
In the village, the rest house
had no heat. For bathing,
there were metal drums filled
with chilled spring water. It was
the last day of the year—
Bonfires flickered. Frost trails
formed at the ends of sentences.
They were unaware of their own
restlessness, soon to be eclipsed
by the years. Above terraces
lined by hand with stone
upon stone, the occasional burst
of a firecracker. Mostly, the wind.
Or the muffled sound of a gong.
In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.
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.