I wanted so much to be the girl in a red dress bending to pick a blossom in the middle of a field of poppies; or the woman in a blue dress carrying a parasol through it, with a little girl at her side. Any one of them, actually: girl, woman, child. Each one vivid with color, flushed from the noonday heat, coming or going in the benign countryside. I wanted to be the chipping sparrow emerging from the lilac, wings brushed just faintly with scent. But I confess sometimes I do not want the bird to answer the high-pitched cries of nestlings. Not immediately, at least. You think that’s a terrible thing to say? Well, I feel it sometimes. Their cries pursue her asleep, awake. Each tufted button’s a homing device; rows of them, like lights lining the field in an airstrip. I wanted a house of my own leaning against a hillside. I wanted simple wood floors, wide ledges for sills. I wanted air, a light more generous than milk, spilling through every window. Even wild things know about caution. Even wild creatures need to preserve what’s left of the husks they have, for the coming months lean with cold, lined with the twigs of their brittle age.
Poet Luisa A. Igloria (Poetry Foundation web page, author webpage ) is Co-Winner of the 2019 Crab Orchard Open Competition in Poetry for her manuscript Maps for Migrants and Ghosts, forthcoming from Southern Illinois University Press in fall 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. 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.