Sonnet for Grief

​~ “Counting the Killings: 20,000 and Rising,” The Manila Times, 24 April 2018

The Enemy’s hands are many— reaching
through our doorways, aiming a finger
or the barrel of a gun and taking without
permission. It rides away from every murder
scene astride a motorcycle, as though it were
some god on a mission: masked coward dressed
in fatigues or flak jacket, assassin for cheap hire.
As though it weren’t enough to take away our jobs,
children, partners, The Enemy orchestrates elaborate
schemes to justify its insatiable hunger: it buys itself
more drugs, more guns, more goons, more profits. More
deaths = more reach, more power. The only arms that hold
and rock us now are those of Grief: Mother of all sorrows,
hands reaching to gather another close as she keens.

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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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