The last time I visited, you took
from the folds of your purse, from a knotted-
up square of linen your earrings, your ring,
your necklace with thin hammered links. You poured
these into my hands, saying only Take them,
take them, wear them when you teach, when you
go to do battle with the day. The pearl on the ring
glowed bluish silver, like the eye of a god
that knows more than we do but keeps it all
to himself. Tiny crystal chips trace the edge
of each hoop I’ll fix on my ears: they’ll remind
me of you, remind me of me when I forget
the grammar of my name. I rush disheveled
through stairwells and doors, drinking
my coffee on the run. I snag my sweaters
on the afternoon’s light. When bees stumble
back to cluster in the hive and leaves
ring down on the pond, I’ll give each stone
that glistens with rain your name. I’ll teach
myself to grow still in the cloth of my skin.
In response to Via Negativa: Taking attendance.
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.