Exceptionalism

The viral video shows a white woman speaking up
for two hispanic women being harassed by another
white woman at a grocery store for chatting

in Spanish in the cereal aisle. No you don’t,
she says forcefully, marching after her
and taking out her phone to call the police.

The other woman sputters something about respect,
which she demands but ironically can’t give to other
humans just because they don’t look or sound

like her. And It’s my country, as if this whole
continent had a picket fence winding around it,
a gated driveway, a two-car garage: one book

for family and friends and another for the help—
one really meaning separate, apart, not unified.

 

In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.

Poet Luisa A. Igloria (Poetry Foundation web page, author webpage ) 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 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. 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.

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