He wouldn’t have gone
if I didn’t go. I said, you talk
some talk, time to do
some walking. Last year, I went
alone, two hours to Kansas City.
I don’t need a man to hold
my hand while I march for women,
but it feels good—husband
in his leather jacket and Rebel
Alliance shirt. At the rally,
I know without looking,
he’s somewhere right behind me.
He is always right
behind me. I reach back to find
his sleeve, hook my fingers
over his crossed arms and squeeze
once for every day he’s said,
you work hard, you do hard work, do good
work, until my fingers are numb.
Katelyn Roth graduated from Pittsburg State University with her Master’s in poetry. Her work has previously appeared online at Silver Birch Press and at Heartland: Poems of Love, Resistance, and Solidarity. Currently, she lives, works, and writes in Kansas City.
Monthly Editor Melissa Fite Johnson’s first collection, While the Kettle’s On (Little Balkans Press, 2015), won the Nelson Poetry Book Award and is a Kansas Notable Book. She is also the author of A Crooked Door Cut into the Sky, winner of the 2017 Vella Chapbook Award (Paper Nautilus Press, 2018). Her poems have appeared in Valparaiso Poetry Review, Broadsided Press, Whale Road Review, and elsewhere. Melissa teaches English and lives with her husband and dogs in Lawrence, Kansas.