Dolly, When I Met You There Was Peace

 

Your songs were my earliest islands.

I learned to set a small needle gently in

between black vessels, to sail away on the

intertwined voices and leave the stream

of sadness behind. Then there was that

summer my sisters and I watched (no, that is

not the word) belted along with you what

we heard from the screen each day when we

alternated Rhinestone Cowboy          

with Mary Poppins.

Between

then and now, you’ve been almost perfect:

you mail books to millions of kids,

 denounce racism with a smile (“Do we

think our little white asses                 

 are the only ones that matter?”),                   

how you can also be

my island, a place where I can’t be wrong

and everything is nothing for a while. I still sail

with you sometimes when I need to get away,

back to my grandparents’ house, back with

that record player, back, somehow, to me.

Katie Manning.jpg

Katie Manning

Pronouns: She/Her

1 Poem

Dolly, When I Met You There Was Peace

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Katie Manning (she/her) is the founding editor-in-chief of Whale Road Review and a professor of writing at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego. She is the author of Tasty Other, which won the 2016 Main Street Rag Poetry Book Award, and her fifth chapbook, 28,065 Nights, is newly available from River Glass Books. Her poems have appeared in American Journal of NursingThe Lascaux Review, MORIA, TAB, Thimble, and many other venues. 

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