S&R Literature

S&R Poetry: "Cold War Lies," by Mark Todd

Scholars & Rogues Poetry

“We choose … to do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.” 
                    – JFK’s moon speech, 1962

He snaps off the transistor
voice, choosing the hard things,
more concerned with politics in hand:
the rigged feel of a borrowed
boat, the smile on a borrowed wife –

both sheen with the sun’s stamp
as the bow halves water, like open
legs furrowing foam at the stern.
He tugs sheets that strain, that scarf
sky when the sloop tacks

to face tasted brine, allowing breeze
to lift her skirt, too revealing
intentioned thought, their isolation
clandestine under a spanned blue,
choosing the reach of a far shoal

to anchor in spent waves – and not
because it is easy, but because
it’s wrong – while seaweeds bump
the hull with faceless scalps: all lies
in innuendo, some lies unsaid.


Mark Todd teaches at Western State College of Colorado, where he also serves as program director for Western’s MFA in Creative Writing. He has two collections of published poetry, Wire Song (Conundrum, 2001), and Tamped, But Loose Enough to Breathe (Ghost Road, 2008).

Categories: S&R Literature, S&R Poetry