In Gloria Vando’s tender ode to making bread, she writes, “I . . . remember you always / in the act of kneading . . . To give bread / is an offering of love . . .” Like the subject of her poem, Vando artfully creates love and life, kneading the happy, the painful, victory and tragedy with her pen, shaping her own offering of love. Her second collection of poetry, Shadows & Supposes explores themes of love, loss, personal history, global history, and family.
Her poems craft a world of shadows: the remnants of Europe in the wake of World War II, the Vietnam soldier haunted by the photograph of a child, and the blood tax exacted from Puerto Rican Americans during the Vietnam War. And through it all, the shadows are enhanced by the supposes: her daughter’s encounter with death at the Museum of Natural History and Vando’s own musings on life and death.
Shadows & Supposes is a tour de force by one of the most mature and sane voices in poetry today, who, despite pondering the ultimate questions, finds purpose even in tragic false starts and detours.