Iowa Writes

Finding Redemption in Vinje, Iowa

Only when it is Easter in this stone church on the hill
do they proclaim that sins are forgiven and I no longer
mourn at 4 a.m. amidst the bookshelves that tell me
the universe began elsewhere in a big bang
that foretold my future. Not this place that foretold my past.

Jesus loves you

I visit my mother's parents across the road
(a road named for where you are going, east or west)
in this cemetery carved from a homestead I once knew
where I wait for a Ford pickup half mile up the paved road
to speed by me, eyeballing my Norwegian flesh for roots.

You're not from around here

That generation sleeps here that built this altar and waits
like Moses for all their sons and daughters to join them.
Someone should tell them, Move on from here!
Hand me that acolyte's rook and let me extinguish the flame
at the end of our communion where we arise to share
bread and eggs at sunrise like surrogate families bound
by gravel and blizzards and coffee. 

Your sins are forgiven. Go in peace

About Iowa Writes

Since 2006, Iowa Writes has featured the work of Iowa-identified writers (whether they have Iowa roots or live here now) and work published by Iowa journals and publishers on The Daily Palette. Iowa Writes features poetry, fiction, or nonfiction twice a week on the Palette.

In November of 2008, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated Iowa City, Iowa, the world's third City of Literature, making the community part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.

Iowa City has joined Edinburgh, Scotland and Melbourne, Australia as UNESCO Cities of Literature.

Find out more about submitting by contacting


Robin Throne is an Iowa native and lives in Le Claire, Iowa, along that great river we all share in some molecular form or another. Her poetry, essays, and reviews have been published in Slipshot: A Journal of Literary Art, North Coast Review, Gypsy Cab, poetry motel, Mankato Poetry Review, Iowa Woman, Minnesota River Review, Minnesota Women's Press, Minnesota Literature, The Corresponder, Connections, and The Muse.

This page was first displayed
on June 25, 2007

Find us on Facebook