Clearing the garden

In the yard, the widest tree
is the heat that shimmers over all
at three in the afternoon. I walk

under its canopy and my presence
beacons every small biting thing—
they live in the shadow of the leaves,

and I am blood after all, and skin.
I am porous under my bindings. The light
of the sun, where it falls on the yellow

sides of the house, is blinding. I try
to remember how it looked when we
first stepped through the gate

not so long ago— The voice of a lone
goose beginning to carve the still
luxuriant air, the foliage just

gone bare. A few of summer’s last figs
tenacious on the topmost branches:
their dark and leathery offerings.

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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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