TELL ME, WHAT WERE WE BEFORE
Antigua and Atitlan. A boat named Tanya. Bachata. Crepusculos. Draped textiles on my table. Esquipulas. Frida Kahlo. Guevara graffiti. Hispanics in Iowa. In Search for Peace: A Guatemalan Story. Ixtapa. Iguana soup. Jewelry tossed in the bushes. Kingsolver’s Poisonwood Bible. A Labrador named Sancho. Lizards on the ceiling. Mayan ruins. Neruda’s poems. Obsidian. The Psych. Ward. A priest who prayed ‘patience’. Quotes on your notebooks. Quetzaltenango. Rigoberta Menchu. Recycled pop cans. Scars etched on your palm. Spoonfuls of Gatorade. Tikal. Tide pools of Semuc Chempey. A thesis on desarrollo shelved in the stacks. Uninformed tourists. Volcanoes. A woman who whispered, ‘you like our ways.’ Xela. Young Werther’s sorrows. Zacapa.
Laura Sweeney facilitates Writers for Life in central Iowa. She represented the Iowa Arts Council at the First International Teaching Artist's Conference in Oslo, Norway. Her recent and forthcoming poems appear in Red Savina Review, Main Street Rag, Canadian Woman Studies, The Good Men Project, Aji, Mobius, Hawaii Pacific Review, Appalachia, and the anthologies Nuclear Impact, and Beer, Wine, & Spirits. She is an associate editor for Eastern Iowa Review.