Iowa Writes


That fall our social studies teacher, Mr. Wulf,
was appointed marshal of the fallout shelter at
our school. The power gone to his crew-
cut head, he marched among the rows of desks
with a cape of dandruff on his dark sport coat,
pivoting sharply at the end of each row.

If the quota had been reached, and a family
came too late, one of our dads insisting on
admittance, why, he would just have to shoot us.
He could not permit anarchy. Not on his watch.
Supplies were not limitless. So we should not
even think about bringing the family pets.

Our mother said if the sirens went off,
we should all meet at home and go to the 
the basement, where there was bottled
water and excellent snacks. Who'd want
to share their last radioactive breath with
that kook? And yes, we could bring the dog.

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


Rebecca Christian, a Des Moines writer, editor, and playwright, is the author of the plays "Mothering Heights" and "First Lady Lou," and the book "That's Our Story and We're Sticking to It." She is a columnist for the Telegraph Herald in Dubuque and Articles Editor of Traditional Home magazine.

This page was first displayed
on December 21, 2012

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