Where is the painting that used to hang
in the musty hallway of our first home?
Which dead president was immortalized
there in glimmering oils? How many gold
buttons marched down his uniform? Where
did planes land after the airport closed,
after the runway’s narrow lip jutted
into the ravine? I remember a gardener
named Jose, pretending to catch a roach
and pinch it between two slices of bread
at midday. We ran away then spent long
afternoons sliding through wild grass
in the foothills. Who can tell what hand
shook the only world we knew like castanets?
Their wooden clatter is like the sound
buildings make as they shatter into a fine
pebbly rain. Friday evenings, months after
a woman took her own life in our home,
a taxi would pull up at the gate, looking
for his passenger. Dragonflies skim
green surfaces of pond water. Five decades
after; and still, I don’t know why.
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.