Iowa Writes


This is my memory:

    Your head, red and misshapen like a space
          capsule after re-entering the atmosphere,
          only this was your arrival

    Your al dente spine beneath my forearm

    The careful backward lean, lay onto the cot

    Your ear against my sternum, your body on
          my diaphragm

    Your cries softening, vanishing with my

    It is 4:30 a.m. and we have given your mother,
          my sister, my alter ego her first sleep

    In twenty minutes you will cry again and I
          will pass you to her suddenly Mother arms

And in twenty years your earliest memory of me
    will not be this one.

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 April 09, 2008

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