List the places mothers shouldn't aspire to be if they want to make sure their children don't turn out failures, forgers of checks, degenerates; prone to violent outbursts followed by year after year of exponentially increasing unhappiness. One of these days; mark my words, said friends from work. They didn't mean take a piece of chalk and draw a circle around every other one. They were talking about children: mine. Which means they were also talking about me. Certain ruin was the curtain with which they wanted to darken the view from every window. Inside, trained birds lisped the impossibility of joy. But I'm tired of feeding animals dried kernels of sorrow, or tearing hanks of bread to throw into water that should reflect lIke quicksilver— a surface that doesn't break up the changing light into points as much as it proliferates like spores.
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.