Iowa Writes


I was mixed up, I skipped a season, I ended
with the maple leaves' tenacity, their clinging
forever, dead purple moving to gray and hanging on.
But the spring fell before the summer.
Such was the nature of my timekeeping, premature
and torturing myself with past failures. I ended
as always with the stupid wind a memory
of the long and delicate animal I once cared for near
the maple tree. Behind it though it did not hide us.
As winter turned my pet gathered fur
and tore the air around me into cold.
Cold was just a lack I never felt, quite,
or always felt, so didn't know the difference.
The creature finally betrayed me;
it was spring. I hadn't lived through anything
much. It killed half the villagers I was hoping
to one day meet and become friends with
in their brightly colored coats and scarves.
For months they had been cutting out snowflakes
and taping them to the windows. I had imagined
this as an attractive lifestyle. Blood looked nice
on the snow, at first.

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


Melissa Ginsburg is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop. Her poems have appeared in FIELD, Crowd, Pleiades, Forklift Ohio, and many other publications. She lives in Iowa. "Much" appears in her chapbook Arbor (New Michigan Press, 2007).

For ordering information, e-mail New Michigan Press.

This page was first displayed
on November 23, 2007

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