Iowa Writes

A Victory Garden. . .

. . . was our way
with brothers off to war,
to beat Hitler and his thugs.

An empty lot, ground of clay,
rocks, critters too
lay across the brick alleyway.
Home to thistles prickly, tough, giant in size,
dotted with cans
jagged, rusted, red,
pools of tires threadbare, grey,
where mosquitoes sang songs of lust.

The land met its match
as dad dug, grunted, cussed,
seeds put in, patted, hilled, hoed.
Veggies sprouted, grew, spilled
over the former home of confounded weeds.

Mom picked, cooked, canned, stewed,
served hated turnips on my plate.

The war rolled on.

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 6 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 Garden."

This page was first displayed
on June 19, 2009

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