The season turns, and everyone I meet
seems to ask the same questions: How
are you, how was your summer, did you
go anywhere? After the world was made
in seven days, surely an eighth
was created for going on holiday.
As the cruise ship lifted anchor,
crows flew high over the lookout
and seagulls dove into lagoons
of impossible blue. I've always
dreamed of walking into the moss-
lined quiet of ancient temples,
of dipping my feet into ancient
waters goldened by flower offerings.
While God rests after the superhuman
labor of making something out of nothing,
the lucky ones among us get to sink into
the steam of a hot spring in Iceland,
stargaze from cabins carved out of ice,
or follow the trail of ramen noodles
all over Japan. But most of us stay closer—
We take beach chairs and towels and hampers
to the crowded oceanfront, watch fourth
of July fireworks from the rooftop of a parking
garage, eat peaches from the farmer's
market after hot afternoons power-washing
the back deck. Promising to read stacks of novels
at last, we're happy to have finished two and a half.
In response to Via Negativa: Package Holiday.
Poet Luisa A. Igloria (Poetry Foundation web page, author webpage ) is Co-Winner of the 2019 Crab Orchard Open Competition in Poetry for her manuscript Maps for Migrants and Ghosts, forthcoming from Southern Illinois University Press in fall 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. 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.