Long Life Noodles

~ after Ada Limon

Sometimes when we are eating
or putting more slices of bread

in the toaster or a pod into
the coffeemaker, I’ll feel some slow

loop inside me, as if that planetary
system under the skin knows I am almost

sixty. Maybe there are asteroids jostling
for space, or holes opening up where

there were none. I tell you I’ve had
this cough for more than a month now,

that it’s been going around; that a dull ache
resides somewhere in the vicinity of my left

shoulder, and another in the pocket under
my spine. Remember when we were children

and at birthdays, our mothers would make
a dish of noodles? They’d insist no strand

should be cut or broken: for long life, good
health— hungry mouths slurping up what the fork

or chopsticks coiled and lifted together, steaming
with all that luck. Living here now, we’ve come

to change many ways we do things. Instant ramen,
elbow macaroni stranded in cheese and thickened

cream. When I lift the boxes out of the pantry,
dry pasta rattles its reprimand of I-told-you-so.

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.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.