Iowa Writes

Decorative Bowl

I've never slept well, but lately, I can't sleep at all.
Sarah gets up for work and from the living room
I mute the early-morning news
on the TV and listen to her move around the bedroom.
Both dogs wake up with her and I take them outside
wearing shorts and a sweatshirt.
It's too cold for just shorts this morning.
Last night I made us supper and ate mine
out of a huge bowl meant for decoration,
Sarah told me, while she laughed at the bowl's size on my lap,
its scale becoming bigger as I dipped my fork into it,
stabbed up bites of food.  I worked the same job
for 9 years before I moved out here
to her 4 months ago and haven't had a real job this whole time.
She pats me on the head before she leaves for work,
says I should try NyQuil at night to get me to sleep.
"Yeah," I say, "do you need anything done today?"
One of the dogs has been itching lately
and there's fur on the carpet at the front door
where he sits most of the time.  "Yeah,"
I say, faking a yawn, "I'll vacuum it up."
She leaves and I succeed in a half-sleep and half-wake
to the same news story on the TV
I watched an hour ago, one dog's leaning
against the door scratching,
the other's across the house barking softly,
mistaking it for someone's knocking.

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


Noah writes, "I grew up on a farm in Iowa, did my undergrad at The University of Iowa, and recently moved to Baltimore to start the MFA program for poetry at The University of Maryland, College Park. I teach at Coppin St. University and tutor in the Baltimore Public School System. I lived in Iowa City for twelve years, and I always had a sneaking suspicion that I'd miss it when I left; I just didn't think I'd miss it this much."

This page was first displayed
on March 17, 2009

Find us on Facebook