Dear father, I walked to the back gate this morning
to unlock it, and saw nearly a third of the service road
submerged in water. Someone had put an orange cone near
it, sometime in the night when the heaviest rain was falling.
Almost noon, and the sun's finally out; and so perhaps
the road can dry before the next predicted burst of wet
weather. The corkscrew willow never had a chance; it died
and its spirals rest hollow against the fence. I want
to know: who decides which role one gets to play here?
Giver of warnings, straightener of crooked lines; stacker,
mender, server. Long ago, you took me to the Indian bazaar
on Session Road and let me pick out my first wristwatch.
You pointed out a round-faced Timex that could be wound, but
I only had eyes for something with a cheap blue plastic band.
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.