You're told worry is for things you can do something about; but take care to spend only a fixed amount of time— no more, no less— in pockets of panic and despair. It's almost hard to breathe, watching the mob of white men draped in furs and flags of infamy stroll away from scenes of destruction without reprimand or repercussion. So you try to focus on this small ritual of washing and cooking rice. Between scooping a cupful from out of the plastic box under the sink and pouring the grains sacred to every ancestor into the pot, when they hit the bottom, you try to listen for the brief aria that sounds like rain and not shards of broken glass flying out of a door- frame. When you swish the water around with your fingers just as you were taught (to loosen any bits of pebble or chaff from this pool of pearled glistening), you remember how you fed your brown babies the sweet foamy boil that rose to the top. How to think of the future? On the counter, a nugget of ginger and stalks of green chive wait for the broad knife's swift partitioning. You make the last small cuts and wipe down every- thing. The timer chimes. The thing about revolutions is how they start from dreams of the not yet seen. The thing about change is how the not yet seen are the first to get on their knees and clean up the broken things.
Poet Luisa A. Igloria (Poetry Foundation web page, author webpage ) was recently appointed Poet Laureate of the Commonwealth of Virginia (2020-2022). She 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 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.