Iowa Writes

MARK HANLEY
"Freedom had come"


I entered the kitchen
empty beer bottles
malty goodness
wafting in the dense
air

In my unconscious dream state
I heard my mother tell my
father
"The kitchen sink is only for
dishes and vegetables
radishes."

I entered the kitchen
empty beer bottles
malty goodness
wafting in the dense
air

In my unconscious dream state
I heard my mother tell my
father
"The kitchen sink is only for
dishes and vegetables
radishes."

No handwashing in the sink as she
poured bourbon down the drain

I passed by the oven
multigrain bread
a metamorphosis in the making
Handiwork of
my mother
baked indelibly into my psyche

I saw evidence of my
father:
bacon grease in the kitchen

My dream state shattered
into millions of tiny pieces
of a Ketel One vodka
bottle in the
freezer

This was my chance to
win
my freedom
 


I set out
down the lonely
interstate
of the
subconscious

California called

I headed west
Then east

I met the Atlantic
We embraced

I hooked a second-hand
Evinrude
to the rear
axle
of the semi

Amidst the choppy
waves

I decided Chinatown
is no place for
a farmboy

And the Atlantic
Ocean is
no place
for a Pete 379

Bacon grease in
the kitchen
sink

And coffee grounds in
the teapot
 


And the corn wept
And the soy wailed

Freedom had come.

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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


MARK HANLEY

Mark Hanley graduated with a B.A. in Russian in 2007 from the University of Iowa.  Besides improving his poetry, he enjoys playing the violin, reading, and a strong cup of coffee.

This page was first displayed
on December 17, 2012

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