"Déjà vu is French for already seen
while déjà rêvé means already dreamed."
Have I told you where I've just been
in a dream, one where my mother returns
after years of having lived a bohemian,
hippie life? When she shows up
on the doorstep, she is almost
unrecognizable: straight, dark hair
in a bob, round John Lennon glasses,
body-hugging turtleneck. She has on
what at first glance appears to be
skin-tight pants with psychedelic prints,
but on closer inspection is a full,
resplendent tattoo from the waist
down to her feet. I don't know
what to think, in fact I'm not sure
if she is a ghost of herself sent
to inform whoever cares to open
the telegram that where she's gone,
no one can follow. Or that in this dream,
she will never die, never have to file
down the bunion on her right big toe
in order to wear the bright red
stilettos with the pouffy skirt.
Now she is leaning toward the silver
mirror, drawing a crimson bow
around her mouth. She picks up a pink
powder puff and feathers her neck.
She's taking so long to get ready,
whoever is waiting in the driveway
has become impatient and starts
honking the horn. But she's unhurried;
the old-fashioned desk clock tells
a time that never changes.
Poet Luisa A. Igloria (Poetry Foundation web page, author webpage ) was recently appointed Poet Laureate of the Commonwealth of Virginia (2020-2022). She is Co-Winner of the 2019 Crab Orchard Open Competition in Poetry for Maps for Migrants and Ghosts (Southern Illinois University Press, September 2020). She 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 former US Poet Laureate 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; she also teaches classes at The Muse Writers’ Center in Norfolk. 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.