To mother

Though I might sit and supplicate beneath the tree in the yard, there is no spirit that comes to shake the leaves and gild them silver, no dress stitched together out of their purple undersides. No voice comes like a flutter of bird wings to soothe like cooled water, sugared or seeping from cane. No warm blue flame gathers at its base, in which to thrust cold chapped hands. All I want is someone to tell me sit down and eat, sit down and drink, lay you down on the sheets, shed your damp, sad clothes. Instead I’ll whittle another twig into a needle. I’ve learned to make such garments: two sleeves, a yoke, a body; a neck hole through which I can push my head as if arriving here again.

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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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