That spring, when I shared space
in a cramped AirBnB RV trailer
with one of my daughters,
I couldn't remember taking off
the intricate beaded necklace
I'd brought to wear
at a conference, though I remember
putting it on that last morning.
But when we went our separate
ways, she flying off to North
Carolina and me back to Virginia,
I couldn't find any trace of it
in my purse or in my luggage.
For a moment, but only just,
I thought about e-mailing
the owner to ask her
to help me look for it. But
if I couldn't remember if I
still had it on when we returned,
then couldn't it be anywhere?
I could sigh about how much
it had cost, how women in South
Africa threaded each bead to make
such striking geometric shapes.
But I thought of Bishop's door
keys, her mother's watch, her
rivers, homes, and continents;
a quake, a storm swirling its spiked
coronet over the Pacific. There's
disaster, then there is disaster.
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.