Iowa Writes

The Cliff

We are living right at the end
shifting pebbles and sharp edges
there's a gap and a drop
that we all know of
but refuse to speak

he says 'go back and look over your shoulder'
but all here know
that never works

we've been straining for years
our backs

we've been learning
the aches and pains
of repetitive work

our children think its natural
to walk like this
we turn to our siblings
because our elders are gone

we keep hearing
its mobility
that will save us

but its hard to trust forward motion
when you're living right at the edge

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


Elizabeth Oshrin Parker is a PhD candidate in the University of Iowa's Couple and Family Therapy program.

This page was first displayed
on February 27, 2015

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