Iowa Writes


My wife's out there again, planting
another row closer
to my rhubarb, sprinkling
her radish seeds like ashes
into long, shallow graves. I don't want
the roots of my rhubarb
disturbed, the tender stalks
cracked, leaves
trampled. She knows my rhubarb wine's
the sweetest vintage
in Scott County. Now she's weeding around
my patch, her hoe raising plumes
of earth. I can't wait any longer!
Soon she'll be pulling up
her swollen red devils, exploding
grenades of dirt, stepping on
my leafstalks and smashing everything.
Suddenly, she hands me her bouquet
of underground hearts, ready
to wash and eat.

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


Dick Stahl, of Davenport, Iowa, enjoys writing about the lore of the Mississippi River. His three books of poetry are After the Milk Route (1988), Under the Green Tree Hotel (1996), and Mr. Farnam's Guests (2004). He served as Quad City Arts Poet Laureate from September 2001 to September 2003.

This page was first displayed
on December 28, 2006

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