Current Issue        Archives        Submissions        Books        Coming Soon        Contact


Justin Hyde  (email) Des Moines, Iowa


About the Poet:

Justin Hyde lives in Des Moines Iowa where he works as a correctional officer. His poems have appeared in a broad spectrum of magazines ranging from the New York Quarterly and The Iowa Review to hundreds of on line zines. More of his work can be viewed at http://www.nyqpoets.net/poet/justinhyde


January, 2009

only waitress at the truck stop who never uses the cash register


is half indian,

grey-black hair

in a double braid

down her back.

every time

she serves me

another waitress

rings the ticket.

i figured

she was slow

or bad with numbers,

maybe had a

theft charge

in her past.

but yesterday

on my way out

she was sitting

on the

hood of her car

smoking a


come here a sec

tell me

what this says,

she motioned over

and handed me

a white piece of paper

creased in thirds.

told me

she found it

taped to her

apartment door

that morning.

i told her

it was a note

from her landlord

saying she had

five business days

to get rid of

her dog.

she stood up

and snuffed out

the cigarette

with her heel.

bear's been

with me

since idaho ,

she said

and walked back in

leaving the note

in my hand.

little has changed

my babysitter’s trailer

had a little

rotten deck

with a

pile of rocks


around the perimeter.

one of the

larger rocks

was flat

dark blue

perfectly balanced

on some

smaller rocks.

i used to

put my foot

on there

push down



i was


the world.

mealworms and left-handed shoehorns

they say we need more qualified teachers,

better textbooks,

a laptop for every pigeon-toed abner and mable.

they're backwards on the issue.

go down to the mall

or your local skate-park.

observe the youth of america

for ten minutes

(trust me, it won't take longer than that)

it's not the teachers' fault.

we're asking them to

mold citizens out of

mealworms and left-handed shoehorns.

i propose we

napalm the whole batch


let darwin

sift the ashes.