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The Only Good Thing

by Lin Brummels

The only good thing to come out of the midcentury was furniture.

You cannot swim for new horizons until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.

William Faulkner

Image of a woman wearing a headscarf and looking out of a window to an ocean views.
Image credit: Maria Teneva on Unsplash

I lied to my fam

about where I was

until two am July 4th

when I was fourteen

on a first date & ran

from my date’s ape-man

hands to a girl scout

friend’s promise to bring

me home late. Lied

to that boy, told him

not to worry about

a promise he no doubt

made to my parents to see

me home by eleven.

I lied to my university

doctor to get birth control

pills when I was eighteen

& to a State Machine

who found assumed amour,

my love & me half dressed

in a hay meadow, told him

we were engaged. Lied

to a friend’s coiffured

mother, told her, her

daughter was with me

when instead, she flew

to NY to get an abortion.

We should be past

a need to lie about sex

and its consequences.

Women face the same birth

issues today as past fifty years,

when conservative pols unearth

stale midcentury laws.


Black and white image of the author, Lin Brummels.
Lin Brummels

Lin Marshall Brummels earned a BA from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a MS from Syracuse University. She’s published poems in journals, magazines, and anthologies. Her poetry chapbooks are “Cottonwood Strong” and “Hard Times,” a 2016 Nebraska Book Award winner. Her full-length collection, “A Quilted Landscape,” was published in 2021.

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