Everything was already happening
in the countries of our future,
where fishermen had been unloading
their catch since dawn.
What could be carried was threaded
through and butterflied;
the rest were taken in carts
to the market and sold
to the highest bidder. Meanwhile,
the courts filled with judges
in robes as white as their hair.
There were always two sides in every
hall: all along one sat the mothers
and daughters and wives. On the other,
the mayors and governors or heads
of state, trying not to show
their fear or loathing or liking
of war. We were in the streets
as always; or in between homes.
We wrote chronicles of our dead
and massacred, our exiled and un-
lawfully detained. We painted their
pictures, dropped boats and ladders
into songs. Everything we did, we
were trying to do for our future selves:
we dreamt of how we'd take possession
of the gates and hold them open,
setting birds free with our hands.
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.