Where the Seed Scattered

She took us through dense rows out back
where fennel spurted lavish through the ground—

branched green tendrils now hardening to husks
amid long growth of asparagus. Inside round

shells no bigger than my thumb, next season’s
growth waited to root in layers above the clay.

Beneath the pear trees, in the grass, wasps
buzzed in drunken stupor: the body in decay

still giving of its sugar, its thick and milky sap
before composting into soil. Nearby, the flames

of peppers gashed the undersides of leaves: trapped
heat of bird chilies, the smoky mildness of shishitos.

She said it was the only way she’d ever planted:
allowing what fell, to fall where it would.

Luisa A. Igloria was appointed by then Virginia Governor Ralph Northam in July 2020 as the 20th Poet Laureate of Virginia, serving a two year term from July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2022. In April 2021, she was 1 of 23 Poet Laureates nationwide who received a 2021 Poet Laureate Fellowship from the Academy of American Poets.

With Rita Dove who was the first African American Poet Laureate of VA and of the United States, Sofia Starnes (of Spanish and Filipino ancestry), Tim Seibles, and Luisa A. Igloria, now there are four poets of color who have been appointed to this distinguished position.


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