absence presence


Absence, Presence

Luisa A. Igloria

Every absence is an ancestor: speak to it,
ignore it, feed it, turn it out of doors,
it will not matter— It knows where you live,
which side of the pillow you prefer in sleep,
where you buy eggs and milk and toilet
paper. It knows whom you last kissed on the mouth,
how you cried to read that poem written by
your daughter, your bewilderment at the stroke
after stroke of bad luck that came the year
you decided to say I do to your green, unproven
heart. The roses in the garden bloomed and withered,
and then came back. Dormant doesn’t mean dead,
only sleeping. Winter is another form of absence,
some say a kindness: substituting white
after white for all the gutted fields before
their softening in spring. Absence, presence—
I bow to you my ancestors; I stoke the fire
and save the bones for soup in these cold months
when I am most reminded I am your kin.


Photo by Dominic Sansotta on Unsplash