after Edward Hirsh
who have so much faith
in worthiness of humanity, so much faith in the slow swing
of the scales of justice, in a moral compass that leads
to anonymous fame for the risk of doing
what is right. I love the whistleblowers, the quiet
ones, the competent ones, the ones who get shit done.
Always, they show up, brew the coffee to crunch the numbers,
research the policy, gather the evidence. And always, they remain
unnamed. We buy shirts emblazoned with our favorite
player’s names, but never the one who blows the whistle
when someone crosses the moral line. This is why I want to say
Their hope is the fool, confidently moving toward the cliff,
all they need bundled on a stick as the crow watches from a log
in the stream below. Neither the crow nor the fool doubt
a bridge will appear to carry them over the ravine, unmarked.
We have to learn to hope
like that. We have to embrace the fearlessness of whistle-
blowers who exhale a sigh for all to wake up, stop, consider
the implication of what we do each day. We have to drink
to the not-a-fly-on-the-wall, but a person, with ears
that perceive and a heart that gives a fuck. For the not-silent,
who have spoken for those who would stay
silent, I want to say something wonderful.
Lisa Eve Cheby's writing appears in various journals and anthologies such The Rumpus, Ghost Town, Ruminate, Tidal Basin Review, A cappella Zoo, Drawn to Marvel, and Coiled Serpent. She was nominated for a 2015 Pushcart and was a 2017 SAFTA Writer in Residence. Her chapbook, Love Lessons from Buffy the Vampire Slayer (DancingGirlPress, 2015) was featured in The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed Series. Lisa holds an MFA from Antioch and an MLIS from SJSU.