No one ever sees these moving confessionals while easing into the stream of traffic, windows rolled up: body enveloped in metal, safety-strapped into its seat, ferrying itself from one small destination to another. Chip of mica, bronzed, pearled: early sunlight glancing off the hood. I can’t remember when I started talking to myself, behind the wheel. If suddenly I should moan, or rail, or even sob, it isn’t from the press and interchange of vehicles along the unremitting stretch of road. Do I say Deliver me? I don’t know who or what I address; these are speeches, perhaps prayers, meant for no one’s ears. Unpolished stone, this voice only wants to hurl itself clear across the gap. Stepping along the water’s edge, white slips of wading birds are lithe; skittish as rumors, they fold back— mountain and valley, origami against the sky.

A shorebird stands at the edge of a pond in the snow at the Signature at West Neck golf course on Wednesday, Jan. 11, seemingly above the reflection of trees in the water. [John-Henry Doucette/The Princess Anne Independent News]

Igloria is the winner of the 2015 Resurgence Prize, the world’s first major award for ecopoetry. She is the author of Bright as Mirrors Left in the Grass, among many other titles. She teaches on the faculty of the Master of Fine Arts Creative Writing Program at Old Dominion University. Visit luisaigloria.com for more information about her work.

© 2017 Luisa A. Igloria [poem]; 2017 Pungo Publishing Co., LLC [photo]

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