Coming home today my daughter
startled in her tracks exclaims

at the wrinkled, pruney body
and its tufts of raggedy

beginning feathers, patches
of pink-grey flesh underneath:

some freak wind has blown
this nest of twigs and dry matter

out of a tree— which? And now,
this not even fledged and beating

thing is trembling at our feet.
Gently we pick it up and lay it

back in the nest, or that part
most unbroken; then set the whole

into a shoebox lined with dish
towels and some leaves. Its mother

is nowhere to be found— lost,
or herself perished? The feathers

are very recent growth: charcoal
smudge, faint five-o’-clock shadow.

Though there are possible
forms of intervention,

not knowing what kind of bird—
seed eater or not?— makes it hard.

It’s breathing, but barely.
This much we know: there’s a fig

tree in back under whose leaves
we could dig a hole to bury it,

should it sink into that final
abandonment— but not just yet.


In response to Via Negativa: Tarantism.

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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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