Those were the years of lamplight falling on early snow, the blue shadows of trees forming an arc by the platform where you waited for the last train, and the man and his daytime harmonica slept under the ticket counter, his breath curling under a thin coat collar. Those were the years you walked with grocery bags in each hand when you missed the bus, clicking each knee against the cold. The corridor stretched, and suddenly a profusion of crepe myrtles; unstoppable blossoming of cherry trees, such beauty a currency they never minded losing. When the moon asked to bind your ring finger with silver, it did not drain the seas of their poison. It didn't stop the horse from working free of its reins, the ox from rooting itself in the mud before it bent to the yoke again. Here is a leaf for each season: you could give them the names of your daughters, before each slipped quietly into a book.
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.