Iowa Writes

JOSEPH DONKA
Shy


She is
all shuffled feet
and lowered eyes,
seeking shelter
from sultry summer winds
and the lurid leers
of men seeking women
young and blond with big . . .
like her.

She glances
as she guards a frail match flame
and lights a bobbing cigarette.
She breathes out,
slowly,
and the smoke twists
through her curls—
like the fingers of
a jealous lover.

She is
all shuffled feet
and lowered eyes,
seeking shelter
from sultry summer winds
and the lurid leers
of men seeking women
young and blond with big . . . 
like her.

She glances
as she guards a frail match flame
and lights a bobbing cigarette.
She breathes out,
slowly,
and the smoke twists
through her curls—
like the fingers of
a jealous lover.

Our eyes don't meet.
They collide—
accidentally, but with force,
bodies on a suddenly stopping subway.
Desperate to avoid
an imagined intention,
she lowers hers
and seeks anonymous shelter,
unaware that
this only makes her
more lovely.

She stays
behind scratched bus stop glass
toeing a crack in the walk.
Watching
my feet with
downcast eyes,
ready to flee
a predator's
approach.

Wary of me,
she misses
the muscled man
who pounces
from behind.
Surprised,
she bristles at his
mating call and shows
reluctant claws.

She stays
all shuffling feet
and lowered eyes
once the hunter withdraws.
She is safe and free and left
alone.
A smile briefly
slips before she demurely
casts it to the sidewalk,
unaware that it only
makes her more
lovely.

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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


JOSEPH DONKA

Joseph Donka is a high school English teacher, former newspaper columnist, aspiring young-adult novelist, and shameless libertine.  He has attended the 2012 and 2013 Iowa Summer Writing Festivals.  He currently lives in Palos Heights, Illinois with his wife, Jenn.  If you enjoy his work, please show your appreciation with scotch and bacon.

This is day one of our three-day celebration of Joseph Donka's poetry.

This page was first displayed
on March 10, 2014

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