Who knows what kindness is anymore,
what is compassion? The streets fill
with those who have forgotten who
they are. They’ll burn torches
at midnight and high noon, plant them
on lawns; tear down doors, break dinnerware
on the counters, shred clothes in the drawers
and on the line. In the pitcher, there is still
water cool as the wells from where
it was drawn. On the board, enough bread
without need for asking. The owl shreds a small,
quivering thing in its talons; the vulture skulks
among the rocks— we call this blind nature,
but this is not the same. The water is cobalt
with sadness, but nowhere like the terrible sadness
boiling in the streets with incoherent fire.
In response to Via Negativa: Day of the dead.
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.