I stir the cookie batter, add extra

chocolate chips.

On the radio, the news: level

voices, other

lives: a razor-wire fence, crowds

of the bereft, bodies

washing up on distant shores.


In the dappled green beyond

my window, my daughters

fly on yellow swings,

and an orange ball slips

through the fingers of the neighbor’s

boy, so he loses

some made-up game,

and shouts: No fair!

Those weren’t the rules!






Jennifer L. Freed lives in central Massachusetts. When not mothering, writing, or teaching writing workshops, she tutors ESL for refugees. Her poetry has appeared in various journals including Poetry East, The Worcester Review, Cloudbank, and in a chapbook These Hands Still Holding. More information is available at her website: jfreed.weebly.com.