A Journal of poetry and kindred prose

Mary Ann Mayer

is a poet and occupational therapist. Her first book of poems, Telephone Man, was published in 2005. Her work has appeared in two anthologies and several journals, and is forthcoming in Raven Chronicles and the Bryant Literary Review.

With her husband and German Shorthair pointer, she divides her time between southeastern Massachusetts and the White Mountains of New Hampshire.

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Cold War Art Class

After recess and before art,
the siren wailed over the intercom. We raced

to duck under our desks, crouching
until the all-clear command.

After all-clear, Sister Mary Blanche passed around
xeroxed outlines of Khrushchev’s face. Two per child:

one to color in school and pass in for a grade,
the other to bring home to fill in with our parents.

I had my technique down cold:
draw devil horns on top of Khrushchev’s head,

then a long pointy devil beard,
and finally a fat X through his face with a black crayon.

This got me an A every week, and silver stars,
so I drew the same one for Mom and Dad

and taped it to our front door,
knowing it would protect our home,

even the whole block.
The next day, after recess, the siren blew

then all-clear; then art class, or on
Tuesdays and Thursdays, religion.