We type in our orders on the computer, and in less than two hours a shopper comes to leave groceries on the doorstep. What a privilege it is to still be able to have bread and eggs, bananas, salad greens, some kind of meat— without needing to leave the safety of our homes. We remember in the '90s how military forces joined a coalition at the start of the Gulf War and panic rippled into our small city in the hills. This is it, neighbors said: WWIII. Store shelves emptied as people panicked: canned goods, paper products, oil and sugar and salt. What a miracle to find even a small bag of rice, a tin of sardines. Sudden wealth in a handful of yellow potatoes; a longer stretch of days. Even so, we know somewhere else not even a grain remains, not even a soup bone in the larder. An endlessness has gone by. Some of us give thanks we haven't whittled completely down to bone. Some of us count our stores. Some put away the bowls that others used to eat from when they were still here among us, holding out for days that stretched into more than a year.
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.