What choice has the ox when it comes
to the edge of the field but turn
and walk to the other end? I am always
trying to balance the weight of the yoke,
the way it slides down shoulders
from the friction of years. Even when
it’s put away, I have a manner
of walking that signals furrow
and stubble before I open my mouth.
If a dove touches down, if a phoenix
or a tongue of flame in the middle
of the field, I’d feed it whatever
it is I carry if I knew how. How to hear
the sound of a different color? The bright-
ness of copper or gold, the shimmer
in the pause of just standing still.
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.