Iowa Writes

Imagine All the People

Imagine being unable to imagine
another side.
What would you be?
A hill so steep you'd throw your thoughts against it?
Segregated schools?
A decider who never had to fight?
Without advance imagination
the people perish.
Would you be a grandmother who keeps hands warm
no matter where they're from?
Or would you be a moth-like hat
on the head of a singer
lifting her higher and higher?
Would you be a newspaper soldier, easy to burn?
Would you choose to be something you can never change?
Or would you hold up your arms
during the metamorphosis?

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 is part of a collection titled Starting Today: 100 Poems for Obama's First 100 Days, edited by Rachel Zucker and Arielle Greenberg, just out from University of Iowa Press.

Established in 1969 and housed in the historic Kuhl House, the oldest house still standing in Iowa City, the University of Iowa Press publishes scholarly books and a wide variety of titles that will appeal to general readers. As the only university press in the state, it is dedicated to preserving the literature, history, culture, wildlife, and natural areas of the region.

Starting Today: 100 Poems for Obama's First 100 Days

University of Iowa Press

This page was first displayed
on April 23, 2010

Find us on Facebook