“Who Lives” by Laura Lee Washburn

Issue 18 / Summer 2019 / Abortion Ban Protest Special Issue

after John Irving

Coat hanger, incinerator, knitting needle,
forceps, twig, detergent, gasoline,
syringe, beatings, punches, steak knife, law,
member, –facient, powder, berry, black soot, lye,
fishing knife, broken glass, meat hook,
wire, spade, bullet, sunken grave, jagged stone,


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 Carolina Quarterly, Ninth Letter, The Sun, Poet Lore, and Valparaiso Review. Born in Virginia Beach, Virginia, she has also lived and worked in Arizona and 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. This poem first appeared in the Harbor Review as “Who Lives in the House.”

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