Iowa Writes

KATHERINE MCLEOD SEARLE
Generational Decay: Three Women


She liked
to spread it around
the neighborhood.
She didn’t dislike sex—
just having it with her husband.

In addition to her compunction
to take off her clothes,
she drank.

Saturday afternoons
he’d take his daughter
for long rides, the scenery
punctuated by his bilious remarks
about her mother.

She liked
to spread it around
the neighborhood.
She didn’t dislike sex—
just having it with her husband.

In addition to her compunction
to take off her clothes,
she drank.

Saturday afternoons
he’d take his daughter
for long rides, the scenery
punctuated by his bilious remarks
about her mother.

She listened well
to the Saturday sermons—
and felt his contempt.
She bought her father’s clumsy
rationalizations.

She didn’t think it odd
that her father promised
to pay for her pre-med education—
then refused to cough up a dime.
Being the dutiful daughter, she simply
changed her major
to home ec. and bitterness.

She didn’t blink an eye
when one of her twin brothers
hanged himself.

Her daughter didn’t think it odd
when she gassed herself
in the attached garage.

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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


KATHERINE MCLEOD SEARLE

Katherine McLeod Searle received a BA in English in 1973 from the University of Iowa. She has been teaching Language Arts at JB Young Intermediate in Davenport for the past 24 years.

This page was first displayed
on November 28, 2006

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