Under an arch of trees, a mild wind passes and you recall an earlier time when you looked up and there seemed an opening in the hills, the smallest cleft where the light came and went. Holding it in your gaze, you remember too when once you climbed to the summit— an easy hike then, not many house plots yet, or fences beyond which laundry dripped in the sun. A lone cow grazing, a flock of goats. Wild patches of marapait; tender vines of sayote and tartaraok. Mechanics tinkered with dented vehicles, their heads wreathed in cigarette smoke. And at the top: ruined ramparts that only the ghosts of priests or prisoners walked at sundown. Isn't this how every past love fades into a flower or a leaf? Wind or no wind, so many blossoms at the base of the tree.
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.