Two poems by Amy Baskin

possession is 9/10th of the law

there was a guy once who owned me
I was his doll at first he
carried me everywhere propped me
at tables in fine restaurants
held me in his arms
never let my feet touch the ground
took me to bed at night

in the morning I grew
the weight of me changed for him
my feet dragged
when he hauled me to the kitchen
he propped me on a tall stool
told me to get to work
I poured tea for him and his guests until

only cold tea remained
there was a guy once who owned me
now I am no longer for sale
for rent for lease or for a good time
George Bernard Shaw said everyone
has her price and I do too
I am free

if I were alone I could I take off in rain shower
to land in snow drift and recalibrate

upheaval can serve to reset me there is nothing
like a good cry among strangers in economy

class on a commercial flight I can pretend
I don’t mind stare out the window watching

drizzle turn to rain, sleet, snow, graupel and—
All hail!

but this is impossible with my daughter watching
oh, the disruption awaiting #hertoo

she is a barometric gauge when the plane starts
to shake she questions the pilot she senses the change

in pressure keenly it angers her that all could be
anything less than stable she feels the jarring

turbulence I take prophylactic ibuprofen
in preparation for the inevitable migraine

she knows that winter is not coming—it’s here
the freezing point suspends me in a steady state

of fear of slipping losing precious ground of thrusting
my daughter out alone in the violent confusion

the condescension of vapor that falls under the gravity
of the current climate the icy jeering coliseum precipitating

there is no controlling the change in atmosphere
from our seats no staving off the discomfort

that comes along with the unknown no way to prepare
for the weather awaiting us wherever we land
Amy Baskin’s work is featured in Fire Poetry Journal, The Ghazal Page, Postcards, Poetry & Prose, Dirty Chai, Panoply, Riddled with Arrows, and more. She is a 2016 Willamette Writers Kay Snow Poetry award recipient for her poem “About Face.”
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