In her poem grits, Angela Jackson’s woman narrator stays up all night, seething and stirring.
she watch the pot, cooked
her grits thick for hours
(not the quick kind) till grains disappear
into smooth with a slick
coat on top
for a man to wear
(she said) on both
Ten lines of tension: They pulsate with an untold backstory of betrayal real or perceived—and an act of violence the “she” may or may not commit. Jackson paints a conflictual portrait of a woman unraveling yet rational enough to plot. She’s stirring up a strike against a lover.