A short worry list— That snow might not fall this winter, or the next, and the next after that. Might never again remind us of things like spiderwebs and ivory lace. That rivers boil without cease. That the fig tree and the persimmon might be so overcome, they'll forget how to sew anything again except patched brown garments thinner than cheap fashion made by women with vacant eyes in sweatshops. That pine forests become only the verb in their names. But imagine, insist the ghosts of lost or departed things— Picture the form of someone who goes to bed with you, spreads your hair like a beautiful fan on the pillow or brings you dreams of cool melons arranged on a blue plate. From which window could you find again a pearled flicker of wings at dawn, above water? Imagine the press of a soft wax seal on your lids, embossed with tiny vines and fleurs-des-lis; the anticipated delight of lifting the flap of an envelope perhaps enclosing a love letter. Which is to say— when they speak of things like hope, they mean something opens, or opens again.
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.