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Friday, August 30, 2013


by Pamela Emigh-Murphy

Naruto Minato Namikaze Chopsticks
Photo source: Entertainment Earth

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." --George Santayana

She fingers the chopsticks
she tucked in the side of her pants
when they left the banquet hall. A souvenir
to remember the donation
her lover made
                                    to “Restore America’s decency laws
                                    to “Wake up America before it’s too late
                                    to “Return to the values of our American Fathers.

During the car ride home, they jab
the under part of her ribs.
She shifts her shoulders
to dislodge them
from her flesh.
                                    “When did they stop teaching American history?
                                    the candidate driveled.

She barely makes it to the porch without
one of them sliding down her leg. He kisses her
goodnight, waiting for the invitation
that doesn’t come.
                                    “Don’t tread on me,” tolled the man at the podium.

She kisses him back, one hand
on the small of his neck, the other
on the door behind her.

She navigates her dark
entryway, taking small measured steps.
                                    “This is my country and I'm not surrendering it.

Blood splashes
the white floor of her tidy bathroom.
                                    “They took history out of our schools!

Lest she would’ve known
to use
a coat hanger.

Pamela Emigh-Murphy is a professor of English at Monroe Community College where she teaches women’s literature, American literature, and courses that explore the intersections of science and the humanities.  She is a founding member of Straw Mat, a women’s writing group in Rochester, NY and facilitates writing workshops for breast cancer survivors at the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester. As a ghost-writer, she has authored two articles published in The Alpenhorn, a national magazine publication for the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of America and recipient of the prestigious Maxwell Medallion Award from the Dog Writers Association of America. She is a teacher, sister, wife, and proud mother of two sons who love and value the women in their life.