You Lucky Girl,

don’t worry; don’t be so offended,
don’t take it all so personally.

You’re only misguided. If you don’t take it
all so personally, you’ll probably be the next
flavor of the month. So would you come

out and give the keynote at our next
ethnic heritage program? Your language
is so lush and lovely though I confess

I don’t always understand what you’re
trying to say. Don’t take offense, I mean it
only in the best way. And I know, it must be

because English isn’t your first language,
isn’t it? Why don’t you ever write in your
own language? It just sounds so beautiful.

I hear all kinds of sounds: lost rivers,
orphaned birds, the gentle bump of coconuts
landing on the sand. And your people! So

very industrious, always working hard,
so unassuming; always, always smiling, never
out of place. Does your name mean anything?

How do you spell that? Why do you insist
on carrying that sense of burden all the time?
Life, you know, doesn’t have to be so hard.

 

In response to They Pretend to be Us While Pretending We Don't Exist.

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.

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