Shenandoah Volume 68, Number 1
Volume 68, Number 1 · Fall 2018


Samuel Gridley Howe started with the ribbons. He tied them around our heads to cover what he called our malignant eyes. Next he made us forget our words. He made us write letters we could not feel. He made us read tiny raised squiggles. He slapped our hands away. We tried to slap his hands away. He made us do needlework with our tongues in front of smelly crowds. He made us make vibrations in our throats. We made bigger and bigger vibrations. He tried to stop us. He said it was repulsive. He said it was repugnant. He said it was revolting. He swore that we would never cease making this awful racket.

John Lee Clark is the author of the essay collection Where I Stand (Handtype Press, 2014). His poems have recently appeared in or are forthcoming in American Poetry Review, the Nation, Poetry, Poetry International, and Rattle. He lives in Hopkins, Minnesota, with the artist and author Adrean Clark and their three sons.
Read John Lee Clark's “I Would That I Were”