Something Like Salvation
BY Ingrid Andersson
Whatever is in the world’s water is here in my hands.
-Sandra Steingraber, ecologist & poet
Faithful old limbs half-naked before a basin of water, wash rag in hand, my immigrant mother performs her daily ablution. I know that later, every drop of the graywater will be re-used to slake her heirloom flowers, or if her recycled rain drums are full, to flush her off-the-meter toilet. This morning, she rages over America’s flushing of fire hydrants: well water pumped from one-thousand feet gushing like a gashed artery down her gutter—she salvaged fifty bucketfuls for her raspberries. Sitting in her kitchen now, plucking red berries from a fifty-year-old Tupperware derived from slag of fossil fuel, I see that she’s drummed into me: these are the world’s water too, and each sweet sphere floods me with something like salvation.