“Touring the Lower Oklawaha” by Lola Haskins

Lola Haskins


The sergeant left the tent saying, “As you were, soldiers.”

When you enlisted at seventeen to get away from the mill, you had no idea there was a war on. Your platoon was dropped into Laos to ruck back to Viet Nam, with orders to kill everyone in every village along the way. When I ask the obvious, you say yes, them too and lift your T-shirt to show me the gun you’re never without, tucked into the waistband of your shorts. The river here runs crystal, but above the dam the fish swim ever more slowly until the inevitable haze coats them, turns them on their sides, and floats them upwards.

from Rattle #67, Spring 2020


Lola Haskins: “When I was a little girl, I wrote because I was lonely. Now I write because I feel a deep kinship with people I may never have met.” (web)

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