What is silence? Something of the sky in us.
A rift that opens, so two not speaking
can step through to find a street
still blunted by rain, part
of a fence leaning against another
part that isn't broken. There's no need
to point out what needs to be done.
Once, on a mountain road wide enough
for only one vehicle, two
met in the middle, unable
to proceed. I don't know how each
made its way to its destination:
if passengers got down from the bus,
shouldered their belongings and made
the trek to town on foot. It's not
so easy to return to the beginning
when something keeps nudging you
forward. A stone thrown over the edge
falls for a long time, and you strain
your ears to hear the sound it makes.
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.