On the sheet, the child renders
a house with crayons: tilted roof,

fence, yard, the figures that make up
the family— The mother and father

are taking a nap. Or they are out.
Then a room— curtained over

with blue or black, disguised
by the steam from the iron

and the starch on the clothes—
where something happens for which

she has no words at the time: the uncle
wants to play doctor, to conduct

an examination— Neither did she
have words for doubt, suspicion,

the tingle in the parts that burned.
There are words whose meanings she’ll

mull over all her life: rupture
in her head, lesion on her tongue,

having come to their true disclosures.
When she says them now, she is like

the meter reader, gauging from month
to month the cost of what was used.


In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.

Series Navigation← GildedWhat could we know →

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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