Flash :: No                                            by Laura Lee Washburn

I do not do hopefully earnest
mornings, the sparrows nesting
on my eaves calling, gentle now,
rain falling. I will not make
a hearty breakfast, biscuits,
cheerfully call the cats
to early bowls of canned
meat and byproducts. I sit sweaty
in the Queen Anne chair, not
asleep, not asleep, not asleep.
I saw neighbors who must
routinely exit driveways 7
a.m. Wet, from gentle rain,
feet wet from sponged yard,
I. I woke to whining, whining
intermittent but unceasing
and the thunder clapping top
of lightning my phone says zero
point zero miles away, and
the dog frantic for out. Since
the 6 a.m. call, in the sort of rain
that makes the meteorologist
who, just got home, for chrissakes,
broadcast in his white tee shirt
knowing this will wake us all, up.
I sleep through anything, thunder
and lightning cracking, anything
but the incessant whine or in
other times the hacking hack
of diabetic cat. I sit sweaty
in the Queen Anne chair, not
asleep, not asleep, not asleep.
I have wrung towels this morning
from the basement floor. I
have Kleenex- wiped and cleaned
and enzyme-sprayed the emergency
dog shit from office floor. Oh,
good morning. I greet you early
today. Pup crated. Gentle
damn rain, backyard flood puddle,
forecast unfavorable. Rain
reported at 9 inches so far. Forecast:
Rain isn’t breaking, and you,
you should stay out of my way.

Photo on 2010-07-13 at 11.40 #3 (1)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, Carolina Quarterly, Ninth Letter, The Sun, and Valparaiso Review. Harbor Review’s microchap prize is named in her honor.


Guest Editor Lori Baker Martin is assistant professor of English at Pittsburg State University. She’s had both poetry and fiction published in magazines like Prick of the Spindle, The MacGuffin, (parenthetical), The Little Balkans Review, Room Magazine, Grass Limb, The Knicknackery, and The Maine Review. Martin has taught creative writing at the University of Iowa, Independence Community College, and Pittsburg State University. She has worked as a reader for both The Iowa Review and NPR. Martin has been awarded for her work in The Cincinnati Review and Kansas Voices.  She is a graduate of Iowa Writer’s Workshop. Martin is poetry editor for The Midwest Quarterly and is currently finishing a novel set in pre-Civil War Missouri.


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