Iowa Writes

Letting Go

It is always like this...
On Thanksgiving Evening after all the cooking and eating and storytelling of memories that never happened, or happened in ways that will never be remembered.

I grab a sweater or jacket and lope out. The vacant kitchen door, careful to turn away from the front window...from what I know

I pass many such windows, glass boxes really, framing families, just like mine, reclining together in their seated separateness, the distance of card, sleep or football, tying them together in love.

Drifting by each scene, I wonder why I feel so rootless today of all days. Like the severed pines already lined up inside each home I pass, like a fifties diner set parallel to skyscrapers that shadow its sun like the broken leaves scrapping down the street in sync with my footsteps, too wearied from carrying the love of sirens and sap in their small veins too tired to hold fast to their frail strength

Circling the block I arrive again in front of my home, my window. I stand still, breathing in time with the living room's pulse.

Bending down I pick up one of the leaves. "Yes, Yes" I say to the leaf, to no one "I know why you let go. Sometimes it's just too much to hold."

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.

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Yvette was a prisoner at the Iowa Correctional Institute for Women when she wrote this piece, which was read during a public performance in Shambaugh Auditorium by the Women in Exile Project.

The Women in Exile Project is a collaboration between the women at the Iowa correctional Institute for Women, volunteers from the Women's Resource and Action Center, the Women's Archive at the University of Iowa Libraries and the Art Education Department at the University of Iowa. The project has worked with a select group of women at ICIW to publish a series of memoirs and images. The memoirs will become a part of the Women's Archive and the images part of a permanent collection located at the Women's Resource and Action Center.

UI Change Project Blog

This page was first displayed
on February 28, 2011

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