When will you get a job? So happy for you. This
is only the beginning. Make sure you go out
and get a really good job. When I was half your age
I didn’t mind walking half an hour to the next town
to go to school. Sometimes I had no shoes. Now I can see
a big mansion in your future; many kids. A loving wife,
several cars in your garage. Maybe a room for me.
Vacations. Maids. Pah, you have never lived life
until you have been pampered by maids. Your wife
will appreciate this. You will never have to pull weeds
in the garden. Someone will come and do it for you.
What do you mean you don’t want a mansion or several cars?
Did you not major in accounting? What is this thing
Liberal Arts? No matter. The important thing is
you have this piece of paper with gold letters
and a seal. It is like a passport, this. Trust me.
But these days you will also need to make friends
and influence people. Almost like you will need
a letter from the king underneath this guarantee.
Under every story of success is a ladder. Remember
what I tell you now: look at all the helping hands.
But there are also many hands that will try to pull
you down; sadly, I know. That is also part of our story.
In response to Via Negativa: Public Relations.
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.