Kickapoo station


At Kickapoo station I had syrup in my hair

And crumbs on my backseat

The tall pines: not pretty enough

Lulled people: an understatement

Rubber balls in all shops and plastic candy ring pops


On a wooden bench with words

Carved into it and a pen stuck

In hardened gum

I couldn’t dislodge

To write my last note


Everyone’s mask was their face

Just trying to get by was the favorite t-shirt

The art, ceramic squirrels

The nail polish, glitter

There was no need to go shopping after 5 o’clock


These people said we need to preserve

This way of life

I paid my own ransom

The plastic Kickapoo snow globe

I couldn’t smash


I look down at my glittered nails

And find I don’t want to leave, or know how


Jennifer MacBain-Stephens has poems published in Superstition Review, Emerge Literary Journal, Red Savina Review, Foliate Oak Literary Magazine, Burningwood Literary Journal, The Apeiron Review, Dead Flowers: A Poetry Rag, Star 82 Review, Thirteen Myna Birds, Rufous City Review, and Iowa City’s 2013 Poetry in Public Project. She has poems forthcoming in Eunoia Review, The New Poet, Scapegoat Review, and The Squalor Review.