“I Don’t Know Anyone in the War” by Karen Schubert

but Walter Cronkite ends the news with the number of American & Viet Cong dead, so older girls in bell bottoms fear for their boyfriends and brothers, and on someone’s red transistor radio Cher sings every night all the men would come around and lay their money down—the girls sing loud and won’t tell me what that means or what they heard about the CIA—my teacher’s husband’s name is etched on a new memorial on the school lawn, and one day we watch a movie in class that has nothing to do with war but I can’t stop crying even after Mrs. Lassen takes me to another room, tells me life is sad sometimes but we have to cheer up, says she has a real reason to cry.

Karen Schubert is the author of The Compost Reader (Accents Publishing) and five chapbooks. Her poetry and creative nonfiction appear or are forthcoming in 21st Century Plague: Poems and Prose for a Pandemic; Ohio Poetry Association Common Threads; Raw Data: Living In the Fallout from the Coronavirus; Under the Blossom that Hangs on the Bough, Pollination Poems (Edith Chase Symposium); and Raleigh Review. Her awards include a Wick Poetry Center Chapbook Prize, an Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award, and residencies at the Vermont Studio Center and Headlands Center for the Arts. She is Founding Director of Lit Youngstown.