What I wanted to say

is there will always be days
like waves that threaten to pull you
under, when for a while there is nothing
but their spreading mantle of salt
and mottled grey, nothing but the dark
throbbing of that undertow you might begin
to mistake for your own pulse—
And I wanted to say there is no shame
in having flailed and cried out
as if in defeat, as we will again
and yet again, as if into the very heart
of the whirlpool that would drain us,
into the bend of the wave that looks as if
it’s poised to swallow the chain of fishing boats—
And we are so tiny, so powerless to stop
the water surging over our heads; and it is
so hard to remember how the current
buoys up bodies that have ceased resisting
so they might keep the vital breath—


In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.

Series Navigation← Cold SnapIn fallow season →

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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