Time, you beckon. Before you were a proliferation of billboards; double-armed streetlights rising from a continuous median, evenly spaced parade of réverbères going down a crowded avenue. Checkerboards of light fell out of buildings where, in each square someone was working or doing sums at a table, someone was reading a book or ironing a shirt, washing potatoes in a colander, or singing a child to bed. Today, I watched a neighbor load bag after bag into a van, and still there was more—a lifetime's accumulation of things. Time, you crept up on her as well, and you were also the sly foghorn with a low-frequency voice, warning small craft away from the rocky coastline. There are things we don't see until it's almost too late. One by one, one day, we'll finally step inside the door you hold open. But after that, I am asking again: who will split and stack kindling, bring water to my loves, dress and cool their fevered skin?
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.