dog thigh warmer,
signs of beloved repose.
The house is so cold,
the cat indelicately chest leaps,
wakes the sleeping, signs
with paws to warm under their cover.
Anti-slavers promoted maple syrup;
sugaring trees was not the slave work
sugar lands ground and wrung.
For me, my Scotland wool
and feet up couch, mind work
and animals cozied
over body, and reading love time.
Therefore, we’ll die now, white
women, but the others, too, again,
sugar fat, food
and sitting sugar-blooded,
slow decline, hearts weakening,
vein-shrunk, forced American failures
~ Laura Lee Washburn
Laura Lee Washburn is the Director of Creative Writing at Pittsburg State University in Kansas, and the author of This Good Warm Place: 10th Anniversary Expanded Edition (March Street) and Watching the Contortionists (Palanquin Chapbook Prize). Her poetry has appeared in such journals as TheNewVerse.News, Harbor Review, Carolina Quarterly, Ninth Letter, The Sun, Red Rock Review, and Valparaiso Review. Born in Virginia Beach, Virginia, she has also lived and worked in Arizona and in Missouri. She is married to the writer Roland Sodowsky and is one of the founders and the Co-President of the Board of SEK Women Helping Women.
Julie Ramon is an English instructor at NEO A&M in Miami, Oklahoma. She graduated with an M.F.A from Spalding University in Louisville, Kentucky. Among writing, her interests include baking, sewing, traveling, and garage sales. She is also a co-organizer of a Joplin, Missouri poetry series, Downtown Poetry. She lives in Joplin with her husband, daughter, and sons.