Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
Kat Feb 12
Time travel to Dallas days. We were sitting in your Acura Legend. Your face veiled, my eyes watery from the smoke, I know I hate tobacco now.
"Tom, teach me how to write poems, like yours."
"Okay but tell me first, Katie.
What are you running away from?"

We were close to home,
just sound without meaning,
a kid’s drawing on the refrigerator.
So the answer never differs:
I’m not running away, I’m running towards.

I don't remember, do you,
when poetry turned into dictionaries of devotion.
It was the language of tenderness you taught me,
my extinct mother tongue.
To love the ordinary was suddenly easy.

Those memories
                  the warmth of you
make it hard to imagine
that you are buried
somewhere in Iowa.

Here, read my dictionaries now:
page after page,
in hundred variations:
„Please come back to me“
„I will always long to bargain your soul for mine.“

That little toy airplane, the one you gave me
when we were kids,
still stands on my nightstand.
This time it is my turn to teach,
teach you about the cruelty of freedom.
My favorite Lostie.
Callie Richter Oct 2017
I was born on April 5th in Harlan, Iowa. I've always hated when snow is still sitting on the ground by then.
My mom never once showed me affection, bringing me to parties and leaving me with strangers.
What about my dad, you ask? I'll dig in my desk drawer and find the piece of paper that lists seven possibilities because I've always craved what I'll never have.
But on a happier note, I was adopted as a three-month-old baby.
I spent my childhood with my nose shoved in a book way above my expected reading level.
By the fourth grade, I was in love with sports, especially, soccer.
My alcoholic grandpa was by far my biggest role model because I could only see light in people at that age. About once a season I'd see his rickety old truck pull up on the wrong side of the field to get a front row seat of my soccer game.
When I was thirteen my grandpa passed away. I still watch every Cubs game for him and dream of travelling the east coast like he always used to do.
By the time I was fourteen I was into the most popular things at my high school, they definitely weren't in my best interest. You see, I've always tried too hard to fit in.
Yes, I'm hearing all this about who you used to be, but Callie, who are you now?
Who am I now?
My name is Callie.
Calista Carol Leanne when moms mad.
My favorite color is light blue.
I have an older brother, whom I love dearly.
I love watching football and screaming at the t.v. during any Dallas or Iowa State game.
I'm proud of my home team in every possible sport and cheer as loud as I can when we're winning and even when we're not.
I love watching That '70s Show while sipping an Arnold Palmer.
My home away from home is walking the beaches of Okoboji until it gets chilly enough to start a bonfire.
My biggest passion is, by far, playing soccer. I love the feeling of strapping on shin guards and tightening cleats before I run out of the locker room all hunched over trying to get my hair in a ponytail and get outside so I have enough time to warm up before practice.
I wake up every single morning to my alarm of my favorite music with a smile on my face ready for the day to begin.
I said who are you now?
I mean really. Who are you?
Who am I now?
Sometimes I dream about getting married to some boy without a face, just to take his last name and rid the sin that comes along with being a Richter.
I cried in the bathroom stall at school the first time I heard a rumor that was spread about me. I tell everyone that by now I'm used to it, but the truth is each one buries me again.
I throw myself into physical activity and school sports because the sweat and heavy breathing puts my mind at ease and gives me a sense of accomplishment. Throwing myself into my school work obviously, doesn't have the same effect.
The boys at school still give me side glances, give me propositions, and make wisecracks about me being easy because maybe they'll have a chance, not to date me but to get with me because of rumors they heard over a year ago.
I'm so insecure about so much of myself that most days I would much rather crawl under a rock and die than show my face in the hallways between the bells.
Don't tell anyone I told you this though.
You must keep it a secret.
I mean, what would people think if they knew?
I think it's better off that they just see me as...
My name is Callie.
Calista Carol Leanne when moms mad.
Zane Safrit Feb 16
There is a house in
Southeast iowa
It sits all empty
Waiting for us there

Big porch, a bigger yard
Golden fields, open skies
A moon so full
I’ve watched and sighed

Star light, the stars bright
They shine for us tonight.
Some day someday soon
We will see them all.

Copyright © 2019 by Zane Safrit. All rights reserved.
I got to humming Neil Young's 'Helpless.' Neil's a bit more eloquent...
Mikel Jun 20
I’m sorry I never took you hunting
I wish we could’ve caught a fish this year
I’m sorry I dragged you to Iowa
I’m sorry I took your party years away from you
I’m sorry for Vincent Cael and Aubrey Rose
I’m sorry we won’t see Italy or Greece
I’m sorry if you feel like I wasted 5 years of your life
I’m sorry I controlled you
I’m sorry I never wanted to spend time with your family
I’m sorry that the only lie you ever told me was that you’d never leave
dianne moritz Apr 22
Mother’s Weeping Willow
by Dianne Moritz

Mother carefully snipped
a small, green cutting
from a friend’s lush yard,
set it to root in an old jam jar
on our kitchen window sill.

Us kids were intrigued,
as fragile shoots spouted,
buds of leaves unfurled,
like baby fists, opening
to streaming sunlight.

Sometime later, Mother
carried an elfin sapling
outside to our backyard,
placed it in the warm,
rich, fertile Iowa soil.

We watched in wonder,
watered & tended the tiny
tree, doubtful it would
survive the scorching
summers, harsh winters.

But we learned that Old
Mother Nature is shrewd,
and by summer’s end
our tree grew four feet,
as tall as me, and thrived.

How we loved that willow!
We’d hide beneath its boughs,
to read, nap, and daydream,
a safe haven, our spot
to plot our next adventure.

Mother’s Weeping Willow
is gone now, chopped down
for firewood; yet, it remains,
in memory, a testament to
life’s transient beauty….

Owen J Henahan Jul 2018
i trek across the country --
six states, six days,
four countries further on behind my back.

i carry nothing but my footsteps and a worn-down pack.
my feet ring hollow on airport floor tiles,
shuffling alone in the company of the masses.

*   *   *

i drive a rundown car through the iowa countryside.
nose running thin from corn pollen and fertilizer,
i chase the sky and the promise of something different.

not better, necessarily, but a change of pace,
a slow-down, something outside the empty race.

the wheels of time rattle slowly across dirt roads,
and the dust of my memories clouds the sky behind me.
a good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.
- lao tzu
Mankind Alone

humanity’s myth

(Des Moines Iowa: January, 1992)


The music of the soul…
is truth

(Des Moines Iowa: January, 1992)

— The End —