Iowa Writes

Christmas 1936

Warm bodies and frozen feelings
Gathered close, near the fireplace.


One would think they have learned by now
Since they gather every year.
They continue to take a photograph,
For an almost perfect frame.


The dog creeps up
As the children reach in
Both hands and take another.
Don't let the dog eat our food
Proclaims the mother.

This family has a choice to gather,
As others this year did not.
Some were swept away by dust,
Unable to capture another shot.
Others were begging on their knees,
Like the dog


They got it right this time,
But it was past dusk and
All nine were exhausted,
with pain and suffering
that reminded them then,
The world never gets a second chance


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 Buse is a sophomore International Studies major and Creative Writing minor at Luther College in Decorah, IA. She will be studying abroad next year at Nottingham University in England for her major. Her time outside of class is spent with Mock Trial, Nordic Choir, and other musical activities.

This page was first displayed
on April 21, 2017

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