You're wrong: evolution isn't something that stopped happening sometime in the past—If it helps, think more of those moving walkways you see at airport terminals, with people standing on the right who seem perfectly content to let themselves be borne along at a steady rate, while others who want to move faster than the conveyor belt stride through on the left so the plane doesn't leave without them. Then there are those who eye change with suspicion; or worse, insist on a story they might have pickled or slapped together along the way: for instance, the statewide mandate to teach schoolchildren that Native Americans were "the first immigrants" to this nation. That one is plainly a lie even Magellan or Columbus would see right through—after all, didn't they want to be the first? Maybe a better subject for study is the evolution of crabs, which excites scientists no end because apparently, they have evolved at least five times over the last 250 million years, sometimes losing crabby features, sometimes gaining newly interesting ones. Why some are small as a pea and others wear the face of doomed Samurai warriors on their backs is still a mystery. Some are true or carcinized crabs, which makes it sound like they might have served jail time. There are forward-moving crabs and crabs that only walk sideways; crabs that swim and others that live in the mud. Crabs with giant claws become shell-crushing predators in an ecological arms race. You can tell the false crabs by counting how many pairs of walking legs they have: three instead of four, with a miniature, sorely undeveloped-looking pair in the rear.
Poet Luisa A. Igloria (website) 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 was appointed Poet Laureate of the Commonwealth of Virginia for 2020-22, and in 2021 received 1 of 23 Poet Laureate Fellowships from the Academy of American Poets and the Mellon Foundation. 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.