Meditation: On Change

What was it like again, what were my thoughts
as I sat nearly two decades ago in the kitchen

of my dead father’s house, handwritten notes
on index cards spread out on the table, landline

phone in the middle, waiting to be interviewed
for a job halfway around the world? I mean

I knew it was a job interview, but what
were the risks as I felt them then, sitting

an hour before midnight with an afghan
around my shoulders, a storm raging outside,

praying that the power wouldn’t go out?
It was noon where my unseen interrogators

gathered in a meeting room for the conference
call, with questions about my experience,

probing my visions for translating the ideals
of a multiethnic and literary education

into concrete teaching plans. The battery-
powered clock ticked on the wall; my nerves

skittered wild beneath my collarbone. The sense
of a future and how it might fold— such

high stakes, though I couldn’t yet imagine them,
nor see at all beyond the rain-streaked window-

panes. No one else heard this performance
in my childhood home— everyone was in bed:

my daughters, my mother nursing a hot
water bottle for warmth. Near the end

of an hour, I put the phone down. I’d made
my pitch, whatever that meant; filled in

as best as I could the parts they needed
to see more closely. How to sleep thereafter

for wondering how the river stays the same,
though the waters pouring into it are always

changing; how everything had already
begun to change though everything still

seemed the same. How around us, neighborhoods
breathed though quietened by unrelenting rain.

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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