“…how one feels a small life’s shortness.” ~ Rilke, “Blue Hydrangea”

Yet in this minuscule, this easily
overlooked space, we held the packed
wardrobes of those who’ve left

their previous lives— Little to carry
in the coming across: a coat, trousers,
two good shirts, a pair of handkerchiefs,

a pocket watch. Good shoes, a skirt,
a dress for Sunday best, hooped earrings
fashioned from a melted-down inheritance.

For wasn’t the world made of its materials?
And in our letters, we catalogued the parks,
and somewhere in the drifting in-between

the keen salt-note of the sea. Astonishment
of trees that shed change like wealth,
sure of return in so many ways we

could never be. While we, like misers,
hoarded every small bloom against uncertain
futures, until they faded or shrank away.

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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