Chance said, Build for me a house;
sketch a blueprint as if for real.

But the rogue contractor out for a fast deal
doesn’t turn up. The clock ticks the hours.

Hands that labored since well before dawn
hauled stone, squared off beams, laid

the foundation by themselves. Dreams are made
from more than hope or dreaming: Money down,

says the one whose job is to procure
the hardware. Or take out a loan

equivalent to your desire. When that’s all gone,
sell dream after dream for someone else’s sinecure.

Surely there’s sacrifice still pleasing to the gods;
surely some reward exists as more than just a goad.


In response to Via Negativa: Proverbial.

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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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