Dear father, the dreams don't come anymore. I don't see
the hems of your bathrobe trailing along the wooden floor,
or hear your heavy footfalls circling the house
perimeter. Salt remains salt in the shaker, and door
hinges sing only to themselves that old echo of close-
open-close-open. I draw the chain and fix the locks
before going to bed each night. Dear mother, water trickles
from the taps and fills each bottle we will drink from
in summer. The roses have shriveled because it's still
winter. The grass is ashen. I remember how many cups
of milk and flour, how much sugar. The hen gives up
its eggs and settles back into the straw. Where you are,
I wonder if birds fly to follow the seasons, if the sun
rises and the moon sets; if you dunk a piece of bread
in a cup of coffee and chew it slowly before swallowing.
Poet Luisa A. Igloria (Poetry Foundation web page, author webpage ) was recently appointed Poet Laureate of the Commonwealth of Virginia (2020-2022). She is Co-Winner of the 2019 Crab Orchard Open Competition in Poetry for Maps for Migrants and Ghosts (Southern Illinois University Press, September 2020). She 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 former US Poet Laureate 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; she also teaches classes at The Muse Writers’ Center in Norfolk. 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.