Respect your issues, intones the yoga teacher,
sitting cross-legged on the mat. She means
listen to what the pain in your hips or your lower
back are saying to you, listen to the twinges
in your spine as you hinge forward as far
as you can. But instead I think about nights
I toss and turn in bed, inside my quilt of worry;
or of how many times arrows have rained down
from a gap in the sky or the hunter's belt.
My head can't quite touch the floor but
I try; and when I lift one leg and ground
the other I know it is balance that's
the goal--to give only enough to pain and save
the rest for thought and work, pleasure and hunger.
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.