Because of Global Warming

 

the Ladies of the Monday Afternoon Club
have started a clothing drive for the Buddha,
who continues his travels abroad in a world with more
and more unpredictable weather, garbed in the same outfit

he has worn for who knows how many centuries now:
thin pantaloons and a cotton robe of ochre, to be
in some minimum conformity while fulfilling the life
of an ascetic. He probably wears a men’s size 8 shoe,
as evidenced by the shape of his pada in stone:
high arches, broad heels, beautiful toes and ankles
(according to The 80 minor characteristics
of the Buddha in the Agamas). The good Ladies
are worried he will take cold walking through prairies
once gold with wheat and now festooned with ice,
along the coast where fine sand beaches are
unseasonably powdered with snow. His late mother
the queen would know the value of a nice care package;
after all, didn’t she suffer goring in the side
by a six-tusked elephant in order for him to be conceived?
No matter that our children are grown, no matter that they
are the Buddha, no matter that they brush the dust of home
off their sandals and leave to make their own way—we want
to do whatever we can for our young to be warm and safe
in this strange and sometimes inhospitable universe.

 

Luisa A. Igloria is the author of the eChapbook Bright as Mirrors Left in the Grass (2015), Ode to the Heart Smaller than a Pencil Eraser (selected by Mark Doty for the 2014 May Swenson Prize), Night Willow (2014), and other works. From 2009–2015 she directed the MFA Creative Writing Program at Old Dominion University. Since November 20, 2010, Luisa A. Igloria has been writing (at least) a poem a day. Her website is www.luisaigloria.com.

 

Because of Global Warming

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