1968 by Lori Baker Martin

Lori Baker MartinMy house that summer
was full of boilings.
Dead soldiers in the papers,
but no jobs.

It’s monstrous, Mother
would say. Was it the war
or the jobs she meant?
I never knew.

Sundays meant the scary
matinee. Daddy reclined,
and Mother cried,
Quiet, quiet, until

there was no room
for me inside. I covered
my feet and legs in sulfur
and sulked to the swings.

The grass in the yard
swayed like the sea,
green and deep,
to my knees,

and overhead, clouds
tumbled, shoved
by a belligerent wind.
From the house,

Godzilla roared
and Tokyo screamed.
I swung back and forth,
ever higher, my feet

in the clouds and the wind
at my back. It would end,
as it always did: Tokyo in ruins
and Godzilla subdued.

Mighty, like Mothra, with chains
in my hands, I soared,
above it all, and swore,
I would never come down.

~ Lori Baker Martin

Lori Baker Martin lives and works in Southeast Kansas where she is currently teaching English at Independence Community College. She’s had both poetry and fiction published in magazines like Prick of the Spindle, The MacGuffin, The Little Balkans Review, Room Magazine, Midwest Quarterly, The Knicknackery, Grass Limb, and in a Kansas Notable Book poetry collection To the Stars Through Difficulties. She’s been awarded for her work in The Cincinnati Review and Kansas Voices. Martin is a graduate of Iowa Writer’s Workshop where she was named a Truman Capote Fellow and received the Clark Fischer Ansley Award for Excellence in Fiction.

~ February’s Guest Editor, Laura Lee Washburn directs the excellent Creative Writing program at Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kansas which offers undergraduate and graduate emphases in creative writing and takes pride in graduates like Lori Baker Martin. Laura Lee Washburn is the author of the Palanquin Prize chapbook Watching the Contortionists, and March Street Press’s This Good Warm Place.


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