Mid-April, with the bans unlifted. One neighbor is setting cement blocks atop the earth, while another climbs up a ladder and onto the roof. Everyone is taking this seemingly newfound time to attend to tasks that otherwise go untended. Lawn mowers and hedge trimmers fill small pockets of afternoon with their sounds of industry. The insects must be sprayed, crops harvested, non- deliverable excesses poured into the earth as rivers of milk. Is this how it was, all those other times when the world was about to end? The smell of charred flesh coming out of ovens. Horse stalls filled with people. Hammers and scaffold parts falling from a tower that would never reach the sky. Pyramids in which kings, masons, and beetles were buried under an avalanche of stone.
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.