Hometown, Iowa

This is the town
where the dogs
blend in with
the pavement, where
the air chokes with
the smell of the
pigs, and
your neighbor greets you
with wire gray
hair and twisted
teeth. Instead of
hello, his mouth gives
a grinding noise,
metal on metal,
EDITOR’S NOTE: This poem was selected from entries submitted to our Creative Challenge Series #3: Last Sentences, which required that the last sentence in the text must be used as given. Read other Creative Challenge winners. To find out how to participate, go to Creative Challenges.


Talitha Ford is an undergraduate student living in a factory town in Iowa, where the sun rises over a hot-tar-and-gravel roof and poetry lurks behind every rolled steel joist.




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