Civil Obedience

History is the history of what they decided not to fix. Turner saw the sky gashed with bloody clouds and smudges of pipe smoke and he thought, uh oh. Tell me, what’s the field I always picture. I thought we spent an afternoon there like Mrs. Ramsey and her family. It sat in the shadow of a hotel off the Kennedy Expressway, the most bucolic thing I could think of. I was a city child, I didn’t know shit. Didn’t know shit and pending. Hypoallergenic clovers smattered the grass. Thoreau noticed that the funny-shaped berries by which he measured spring came slightly later his second year at Walden. That’s strange, he wrote. Now those berries come six weeks later, and it’s curtains for the world’s hundred spongiest cities. Very strange indeed. Even the weird tulips in front of Starbucks know it, each fat flower rimmed with dried-out crust. So the poets use the side entrance.

Lucy Biederman is the author of four chapbooks. In 2013, she was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and was a finalist for the Best of the Net. Her poetry has appeared in journals including BOMB, Denver Quarterly, and The Laurel Review, and her fiction has appeared in The Collagist. She is a doctoral student in English Literature at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette.