No one went anywhere very much anymore. Parked cars sat idle on each street. All summer, windshields gathered fallen crepe myrtles. In fall, a thick sifting of dry pine needles. In kitchen drawers we found soup spoons that needed polishing, a blue-green teapot that was a gift years ago; a pair of glass candlesticks, handpainted, never used. As if it were Christmas, we took them out and marveled; finally we lay them on the table, poured tea, lit tapers. We wouldn't run out of books yet, though as the year dwindled down, there wasn't much light to read by. News of family and friends came, delivered as if by the same service that brought us bread and eggs, meat and onions— who was sick, recovering, dead. Meanwhile, boots, going-out shoes, mid- heel pumps, sandals, satchels, business suits, hats, dressy dresses remained in closets, hoping they wouldn't so soon go out of style. Those who were alone longed for company; those who lived with many others wished sometimes for reprieve. Everyone imagined the day that was coming very soon when undertakers became non-essential workers, when there'd be room again for grass in graveyards.
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.