The buzz and whine of the shredder is company for a whole afternoon. I dig deep into each folder in my file cabinet and lift out who knows how many years' worth of dead paper—ancient receipts, stale explanations of benefits or of where our money went. When did we buy that? Why? Where is it now? Still, I know more things brought some version of happiness into this life we've made, even if briefly. I would stand in a queue in the rain to listen to a rapturous writer or a beautiful song; would walk miles through foggy green countryside, wait patiently for a herd of sheep to finish crossing the lane. It seems easier now to not give a thought about saying no to certain demands. Before each child was born, I scoured the walls and corners clean, bought an abundance of flannel and blankets for the crib. These days, I'm feverishly paring down to widen an aperture for light and air, a desk and chair— claiming ordinary space, hungry for a little more time for dreaming in again.
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.