I've said Please may I each time I've passed, strewn bits of bread and sugar
at the foot of the tree, careful not to touch the bristling bark. I've worn
my shirt inside out, tucking the gleam of buttons away from light. Shouldn't
the journey be over by now? Shouldn't it get easier? Shouldn't I have found
my way years ago? But here I am again, returned to the same familiar ground:
every stone slippered in moss, the fences peeling, the shed falling down.
My pockets are nearly empty of coin, my lashes stenciled in salt and dust.
Every roof has a chimney and all of them smoke; and yet you look for me
in each house.
Shafts of light comb
through leaves on the trees.
Their heads remain unruly.
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.