Carl Watts

Toledo War

Michigan and Ohio
deployed militias
on opposite sides
of their deployed militias

rifles jamming together
along the Maumee River
bandshell near Toledo
along the Maumee River;

besides mutual taunting,
both sides mutually taunting,
there was little interaction between forces:

squeak of sneaker,
rustling bush, seeming
silence, lack of leader,
squeak of sneaker.

The one military confrontation of the "war"
ended with a report: shots fired into air,
fur, shirts, flares—reports declared—

every three incurring no casualties.


Carl Watts holds a PhD in English from Queen’s University. He teaches at Huazhong
University of Science and Technology, in Wuhan, but due to COVID-19 currently lives in Hamilton, Ontario. He has published two poetry chapbooks, Reissue (Frog Hollow, 2016) and Originals (Anstruther, 2020), as well as a short monograph, Oblique Identity: Form and Whiteness in Recent Canadian Poetry (Frog Hollow, 2019).

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