what's in the water
There is a girl in Colorado who invented a better way to test for lead.
I'm picturing her the year before it happened, what platitudes of pre-adolescence
she ignored, what costume of girlhood she shrugged off in favor of the tubes and wires
and hypotheses of a science left, to date, to the professionals. What belief did she suspend
about the too-low bar of her gender and her age, and what kept her, laser-gazed,
on Flint, Michigan, a place - from the suburban sprawl of her own hometown -
she might have easily dismissed or forgotten as the news stations took their final clips.
It never left her, though, the image of a mother holding the hands of her tired, ill children,
the greyness of their skin against the early spring lawn in their backyard, their innocence
leaching from the taps, and the girl knew she couldn't stop until she brought it back.