I have just finished reading a book
on autumn— on the ways it alters
the quality of light and teaches
about different kinds of goodbye.
And though I grew up in a country
where three-fourths of the year
is scorching summer, now I know
I too must have come to learn
of autumn early. And it is
a country where many are always
leaving: which means there are
as many or more left behind.
But after having left, what then;
after being the one that stayed?
News of another world
still arrives at your door or flies
through the wood at dusk toward your
windows. At night if you set
a clear bowl of water out where
light can strike it, in the morning
you might find on the surface a few
transparent wings— proof nothing
ever stays the same; is always saying
no, trying to change what's given.
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.