by Lynne Lampe
Empty chairs line cracked concrete,
watch the sea for miracles. Salt
settles on canvas. Waves take sand
hostage but only captors return to this
beach so wide whales have room
to die. On a long ago vacation a child
sits in a chair far from the rest,
pouting. Stubborn as iridium,
she refuses blue water, squeezes
her arms tight against her chest.
She sees herself as crucible, not
contents. Kicks air out of her way.
Lynne Jensen Lampe’s debut collection, Talk Smack to a Hurricane (Ice Floe Press, 2022), a 2023 Eric Hoffer Book Award winner (honorable mention–poetry), concerns mother-daughter relationships, mental illness, and antisemitism. Her poems appear in many journals, including THRUSH, Figure 1, and Yemassee. A 2020 Red Wheelbarrow Poetry Prize finalist, she edits academic writing and lives in mid-Missouri with her husband and two dogs. Visit her at lynnejensenlampe.com; Twitter @LJensenLampe; or Instagram @lynnejensenlampe.