One of our fathers, as a boy, went to school without shoes. One of our fathers did not like school at all. He bit the arm or ear of whoever was taking him to school then ran away to hide in the fields. One of our fathers lived in that other part of town. One of our fathers lived in a house circled day and night by horse- drawn carriages. During the war, one of our fathers was sent to look for frogs and snails in shallow ditches; and one of our fathers walked for days with other men to a garrison where they would be kept as prisoners of war. One of our fathers had nothing much to lose but was unsure of what he might gain. One of our fathers gave up driving when he almost ran over a woman on the street. One of our fathers had only a sweet yellow fruit to offer as a gift to the woman he'd wind up marrying. One of our fathers felt he was almost past his prime. One of our fathers nearly drank himself into oblivion each night if not for the thing that he said finally saved him. One of our fathers liked late night shows and barber- shop shaves. One of our fathers who liked to refinish his own furniture and floors also liked telenovelas. One of our fathers lies in the ground on a hillside that used to be latticed with trees. One of our fathers has a plaque over the urn that held his ashes; surrounding that, the clipped and carefully tended grass.
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.