Dear universe, I am nobody

and because I am that, I dare
to converse, having just witnessed
a storm of blackbirds descend
on the path below my window,
then wheel upward as if they were threads
worked into a flickering net a hand
cast over an invisible sea—

And I know nothing
right now will change— Children
will cry over their fathers’ coffins
but won’t bring them back; widows
will find no portents in twisted vines,
and old men will keep their own counsel
when valleys fill with the skins
shed by snakes—

And I do not look
for signs or wonders,
only for a plainer
meaning that might be seen—
frost that came in the night
bringing brittle death to the crops,
animals caught in stillbirth.
Not the sight of bodies turned
inside out in the grass.

 

In response to Via Negativa: Getting religion.

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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