August 29, 2018 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

Peg Hunter photo



Daisy Bassen







This is what I know about the number 565:

I have called out 565 times be careful!

When they are running down the hall,

Down the beach, about to cross the street

That might as well be filled with dragons.

I have bought 565 boxes of mac and cheese,

Blue and gold like a sports jersey on the back

Of a high school junior, I have lost 565

Single right foot socks, some trimmed

With lace, size 3 months, in the maw

Of my dryer, my car’s wheel well, the bag

That was supposed to keep me prepared.

I will check 565 spelling lists, I will dry

565 tears when she doesn’t get into the play,

When he skins his knee raw, when her best friend

With the same long, carefully tended hair

Like a thoroughbred, moves to Vermont mid-year.


There are 565 children waiting for their mothers,

Or papa or tia or abuela. Or the grandmother

Whose name I don’t know in Mixtec, Mam, Ixil,

Tzeital or Chuj. There is a word for the number




And now you will not need a translator to understand,

There can be no mistake about what it means

To hear it cried out. To hear it whispered.






Inspired by ‘Migrant children still separated from parents after court






I’d like to coo with my baby tonight



We’re cooking,

But endangered flamingos laid nine eggs

That won’t hatch, mind you,

But for the first time in fifteen years,

There’s the prospect of more rare pink feathers,

Or a colossal omelet that would pair well

With a rosé, it’s summer after all.

No one’s going to point out that an egg

With no chance of hatching is worthless,

How you’re better off with a stone for the garden,

A balloon, the drawing of an egg in pen and ink,

If no small beak is going to be knocking

At the curved door a hobbit would recognize.

The zoo-keepers have swapped in another breed

To encourage the flamingos to keep their chins up.

This is Britain and there’s an heir to the throne,

A queen who’s reigned a thousand years.




Inspired by ‘Amid Europe’s Heat Wave, Rare Flamingos Lay First Eggs in 15 Years






Daisy Bassen

I am a practicing psychiatrist and poet. I graduated from Princeton University with a degree in English and completed my medical training at the University of Rochester and Brown. I have been published in Black Buzzard Review, Oberon, The Sow’s Ear, AMWA Literary Review, The Opiate, SUSAN|The Journal, Arcturus and Adelaide Literary Review. I have pending publications at The Delmarva Review, The Minetta Review, Wilderness House Literary Review, Pirene’s Fountain, After the Pause, THAT Literary  Review, LEVELER, Mothers Always Write, Mobius, The Paragon Press, MORIA, IthacaLit and The Cape Rock. I was a semi-finalist in the 2016 Vassar Miller Prize in Poetry. I live in Rhode Island with my husband and children.

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