Iowa Writes

JOHN BIRKBECK
Dual Citizenship


My garden lies directly on
an international boundary line
in lateral division;
each row begins in one country
and ends in another.

My kitchen, nearby,
is divided also the same;
depending on which
end of the table I sit,
I feast on a contraband
of smuggled salads.

My bed straddles
a vertical dissection—
equal claims are made
on the halves on me;
an eye, a lung, an arm, a leg,
and paired organs—
left brain, right brain,
thoughts and deeds.

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 iowa-writes@uiowa.edu


JOHN BIRKBECK

John Birkbeck writes: "I was born in Iowa just as The Great Depression lurched in. The two events were only consequential and not causal, however. Most of my life was spent in endless roving about the world, trying to find a place where I might not necessarily fit in, but at least to find a niche."

This poem originally appeared in Volume 5, Number 6 of 100 Words, a journal published by the University of Iowa's International Writing Program between 1993 and 1998. Each piece in the journal had to be 100 words or fewer, and each issue had a theme. This issue's theme was "On Garden."

This page was first displayed
on June 23, 2008

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