This winter, you lift strands of beads out of boxes in the drawer: coral and agate, rice pearl, tiny yellow and green bits of glass threaded through with horsehair. And there is silver hammered into links or coaxed soft into a lizard's tail to wrap around a ring finger. Who wouldn't fall in love with cunning stitches on a dark ground: their subtleties of red and gold, their mirroring of glistening fields or ridges scalloping the river; their crossed threads gathered in a knot or compass rose at the center. These might not be the kinds of riches to lock in a vault— Such small remembrances you thought you'd take with you, each time you came back from looking over an edge and didn't fall, or fall all the way through. You want to start putting them in the hands of those who might understand what they meant to someone who can't undo a life now settling into a sort of shape— Memory a vessel that could possibly drift by itself in the current: not yet so far out, only wondering what comes after; still enamored by light outlining trees at dusk, this world's yet untasted sweets, its anchors.
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.