Nancy Mitchell

Fallout

Life’s Pictorial History
of World War II,
cans of beer
that made Milwaukee famous
sweat rings into cocktail
tables. JFK's blood splatter
black against Jackie's pink
Chanel skirt—oh, that pillbox
hat!
—a Pollack painting
in reverse. Friday's fish-sticks
safely chafed, cafeteria workers
wait for the air-raid siren
to shut it's mouth, for the first
and second graders to unfold
knees, elbows, and crawl
out from under desks and come
to lunch—mushroom blooms
looming the horizon forever
to be paid forward—blasted,
bombed, blown away.

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Nancy Mitchell is a 2012 Pushcart Prize winner and the author of The Near Surround, Grief Hut and The Out-of-Body Shop. Co-editor of Plume Interviews 1, her poems have appeared in AGNI, Green Mountains Review, Poetry Daily, Washington Square Review and other journals and have been anthologized in Last Call (Sarabande Books), The Working Poet (Autumn House Press) and Plume 3, 4,5, 6 and 7. She has been an artist in residence at Virginia Center for the Creative Arts in San Angelo, Virginia and Auvillar, France, and at Spring Creek, Oregon State University. Mitchell teaches in the CELL program at Salisbury University in Maryland and serves as Associate Editor of Special Features for Plume Poetry. She is the Poet Laureate of the City of Salisbury, Maryland.