Iowa Writes

Swampy Ground

Something isn't right.
The air feels heavy, like the day
he went out at six o'clock and didn't
come home until three in the morning,
reeking of the vile chemical
and falling over many
invisible objects.

He said he was tired, that he just
needed to sleep. So we let him.

What else were we supposed to do?
His brain was like the swampy ground of New Orleans;
it wouldn't make sense to bury our pleas there,
they would just float back up to the surface
and rot away.

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


Laura Jackson was born in Iowa Falls and enjoyed writing from very early in life; she began to write short stories and poems in elementary school. In high school, she had an essay and a poem published in teens' literary works. An English major and Chinese minor at The University of Iowa, Laura is very interested in poetry and the different forms it can take, and she hopes to be accepted one day into the Iowa Writers' Workshop. She is currently planning to teach high school English when she graduates from college.

This page was first displayed
on July 22, 2009

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