“Our lives are shorter than the stars but longer than flowers.” ~ attributed to Jeffrey Byrd No doors ever banged shut or open in our house; maybe rarely. The rooms spilled over, but just short of true chaos. Tears and tears and tears. But mostly books and laundry, laundry and books. Expenses and some foolish gains. The extravagance of a bankruptcy; years of long recovery called restructuring, then a cautious coming out on some other side. The surprise of not being completely broken. A growing quiet from the increasing absence of children; perhaps some softening in the insistence of their needs— In frustration or anger, we know we can raise our voices beyond the edgy whisper, then sink back into arms made familiar through the decades. Whenever we want, we can fill these rooms with takeout and instacart deliveries, Hulu marathons, off-key tunes on piano. We already know this is likely a preview of some of the life remaining ahead, granted we live long enough to live into it.
Poet Luisa A. Igloria (website) 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 was appointed Poet Laureate of the Commonwealth of Virginia for 2020-22, and in 2021 received 1 of 23 Poet Laureate Fellowships from the Academy of American Poets and the Mellon Foundation. 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.