Hibernal

So long now has that story of deep wintering
obsessed me: how the club-footed god sets his sights,

plucks a girl out of a field as easily
as a flower, and takes her down with him.

Which is to say, look beyond the metaphor of brute
abduction to the underworld. But for the most part,

this has been the mother’s story— how she scours
the land and badgers the powers that be to get her back.

Fallow the fields and seas; famine and drought,
fruitlessness, the icy blade of her anger raking

across the countryside— oh I’ve wished too
for that wide level of influence but mine

doesn’t extend as far. Season after season
I work but brace myself for another

failure to raise ransom enough for permanent
parole. Season after season, stoic, I keep

clean and stark the white banner of my hope:
bone buried in a field of snow.

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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