I Don’t Think Distance Means Anything to Me

because I’m from the Midwest & they didn’t
learn me no geography. The system failed

to take me farther then the pencil-measured
distances of a map. All waters looked so

alike. I could swig the Gulf of Mexico
just as I could a small bottle of FIJI

from the local B&N. My small city
doesn’t have a great local bookstore to call

home. Home is the middle of some continent
on the far left of the globe. Removed from Asia,

Africa, Egypt, Jordan; the U.S. has
abandonment issues. But didn’t we lose

ourselves? When I was ten I had the best plan
to paddle a canoe from here to Japan,

after walking to New York for a latte
o’ course. On a thin piece of paper it looked

so close. I could stroke the edges of Japan.

J. K. Shawhan studied business and writing at Illinois Central College and Bradley University. While attending Bradley University, Shawhan was awarded Co-Third Place for the Chester Sipple Poetry Award for a collection of 5 poems and she began working on a collection of poems about other art forms. Her work has appeared in Bradley University’s Broadside: Writers and Artists, in the University of California, Riverside’s Mosaic Art & Literary Journal, in the September 2015 issue of Wordgathering, and in Silver Birch Press’s MY SWEET WORD Series.

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