Dear father, in the dream I opened the basket
with a wooden lid carved in the shape of a lizard,
and found the strawflower leis I'd bought
from the market in our city almost completely
crumbled to bits. Who gave them the name "Everlasting?"
Brittle orange, they hang from every vendor's pole
beside macrame hammocks and crocheted vests, above
shelves lined with souvenirs-- those horrible wooden men
waiting for a hand to lift the barrels wrapped around
their hips so they can spring into action. One could
write essays on such relics and their provenance; but
the only voice I can find prefers to sing in a key
closer to lullaby or elegy: that is, I mourn for
the flowers; for you, asleep in the faraway hills.
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.