A Carol

How we pined for colder
months that meant relief
at last from summer’s scorching;
and for mornings when we could wake
to the small marvel of seeing
our breath rendered like script,
visible, exhaled into the frosty air
out on the porch— And how we rejoiced
at never-to-be-repeated pleasures,
like having collected the right
number of bottle caps to flatten
on the gravel driveway with a hammer, punch
holes in their hearts with a pick then string them
with a bracelet of wire to make a sound akin
to tambourines— And they were just
the right thing for those dark evenings
before Christmas, our scraggly, snot-nosed band
going from house to house in the neighborhood,
quavering faulty carols learned
from the radio, waiting for the doors
to open and the gifts of coins or sweets,
or better yet to be invited in.

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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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