The Good Life

Ah at the end of the day, to sleep
the sleep of the just
, my elders would intone—
The just what? I wanted to know, impatient girl

wanting to hurtle into the rest of my life, little knowing
how unprepared I was. Once, I burned to follow in the trail
of rash desire, leave the gleaning and the gathering,

the industry that marches, single file, from field to hive;
to slip away into the orchard where the grasshopper pulled
on the bow, pushed the slats of apple crates aside

and tapped out some sweet tune—
Oh my soul, how I want to lie beggar-like
on the grass, under the waning stars, surrounded

by the fragrance of shriveled peel and cast-off husks.
You fill my vaults with stubborn hope that there is more,
though only so much to be earned and spent.


In response to Via Negativa: The Good Life.

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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 (forthcoming, 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, hand-binds books, and listens to tango music.


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