Iowa Writes

Memory Lapse

It is easy to forget
how perfectly birds fit
on the branches of trees

June snowstorms
of cottonwood seeds
parachuting towards earth

that slow thunder
when icebergs are born
their adagio splash to sea.

Roads cannot remember
directions they're going.
Even rain can fail to fall.

Certain cemeteries seem larger
than the towns they spring from.
Some graves bear bones nobody knows.

Why we are in these particular bodies
must be something we've forgotten.
If only we knew what it was.

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


This poem originally appeared in Volume 5, Number 1 of 100 Words, a journal published by the University of Iowa's International Writing Program between 1993 and 1998. Each piece in the journal had to be 100 words or fewer, and each issue had a theme. This issue's theme was "On Memory."

This page was first displayed
on March 11, 2008

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