Iowa Writes



When my body has ceased to be
What it is now or will become,
And my hair is smoke-grey
(Drier than kindling),
Send me out on a funeral pyre
To those amber-hued fields
Where a rolling tempest of
Hollowed cornhusks
(Golden skeletons waving in the wind)
Will greet me
And wrap me in their stalky arms.

That crisp bonfire smell
Will permeate the air,
And the ashes will kiss the earth,
Before digging their way into the soil—
A homecoming
That will enrich all that will grow there.

Oh yes, send me back to the plains
That I love,
The land that my body responds to—
Seeming to widen the expanse of my existence
When my feet are firmly planted on its ground.
It sounds whispers of recognition in the crevices of me.
I know this place!

Perhaps the mist of my soul will rise up to the
Existential heavens to meet my faceless maker—
Like steam off the awakening fields,
But my body
(A hollowed husk)
Will be buried in the truest church I have ever known,
And I will dig my way into the soil—
A homecoming.

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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Victoria Johnson graduated cum laude with degrees in English and French from the University of Iowa in May 2016, and is currently pursuing her Masters in Social Work at Iowa. She is particularly interested in using voice and storytelling in therapeutic practice.

This page was first displayed
on November 04, 2016

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