Players Must Stand

by Daisy Bassen Issue: Fall 2018 Special Issue on Justice
We’ll pretend, shall we, that time has gone by,
hourglasses with their tiny waists, corseted,
a pocket-watch whose gears tick and tock
in lock-step until they jump like hurdlers,
moons risen, shorelines eroded into shapes
the Abenaki wouldn’t recognize, clams studding
the rocks just as implacably. The calm of mollusks.
Someone decided you have no choice, again,
you must stand when the man tells you to,
you can’t abstain or demur or explain, those verbs
are not for you. How many nights can we hope
an ideal can have substance behind it, the yolk
binding the white into custard from meringue,
sugar to let us tolerate the transfiguration?

How long is the year it will take for that to be true?

Daisy Bassen

Daisy Bassen is a practicing psychiatrist and poet who graduated from Princeton University with a degree in English and completed her medical training at the University of Rochester and Brown. She has been published in Black Buzzard Review, Oberon, The Sow's Ear, The Opiate, Arcturus, Tuck Magazine, Adelaide Literary Review and several other journals. She was a semi-finalist in the 2016 Vassar Miller Prize in Poetry and a finalist in the 2018 Adelaide Literary Award for Poetry. She lives in Rhode Island with her husband and children.