Edison Jennings

Pax Americana

Never Give Up by Nikolay Semyonov

Mom was knocked-up in Vegas
with another man, Dad was at the Pentagon
day and night, and the Commies
were in Cuba, aiming missiles
at me and my sister, Azalea Drive,
Silver Spring, MD
where we learned walk don’t run,
pay attention, duck and cover,
and hide your eyes, but numbed
by days of either/or, we lived
on Swanson dinners, NBC,
and JFK, whom my sister dubbed
Cute Jack, further noting he talked classy,
like the rich—classy, cute, and rich,
standards boyfriends failed to meet.
Her husband, though, was sort of cute,
but no way Kennedy cute,
and sure not Kennedy rich
no matter how classy he talked.
Maybe that’s why her marriage failed.
Mine didn’t fail so much as explode.
History is a stumblebum god:
1. Ground-zero is who knows?
2. No one has a shelter.
3. The fallout will be everywhere.


About the writer:
Edison Jennings lives in the western Appalachian region of Virginia. His poetry has appeared in a variety of journals and anthologies, including Boulevard, Kenyon Review, Poetry Daily, Slate, and TriQuarterly. His chapbook, Reckoning, is available at Jacar Press.

Image: Never Give Up by Nikolay Semyonov. Digital image. Brushwork and other tools plus surface texture adjustments in Corel Painter. No date specified. By permission.