Two Poems

By Daisy Bassen


They could only salvage
One stained glass window,
A blacksmith at his forge.
He was ruined by hanging
Against a plaster wall, a terminus.
No child will ever suppose
The smith will raise that mottled
Hammer without the sun driving itself
Like needles through the pane.

The clear windows of the sanctuary
Are square and overlook arborvitae,
The grey box of a condenser, humming.
Abigail Adams would have favored them first,
Purposeful, imperfectly fitted,
Before she arrived in Paris in 1784,
Before she removed to Anteuil.


Sonnet for Andrea

Yeats wrote those yellow ramparts
And I cannot help thinking of it
Every time I remember, the brightness
That surrounded you, the light
You carried all your days, effortless,
As if it was easy to sit down again
With a hopeless man, to nurse your child
When the day was not quite done.
Ramparts, those are the defenses built
Against invasion, and we are ready
In your grievéd absence, to stand up
As protectors of a city, of the many
Thrown into despair, those you reached out
To in welcome, comfort against the dark.

Daisy Bassen is a poet and community child psychiatrist whose work has been published in Oberon, McSweeney’s, Smartish Pace, [PANK], and other journals. Born and raised in New York, she lives in Rhode Island with her family.

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