Birth Control – Amy Baskin

you babble like an idiot
but since you’re only three I can excuse you

trampling the rules stomping over etiquette
grabbing one guy’s nose while he’s trying to talk

Beatles with our father
fondling the fly of another pimply teen

small talk can be so superficial
why not draw these suitors out

skip to the heart of the matter
why are you here you ask them

before they answer you tell them go away
and take your tiny fists and use them to make

an impression on their sad sacks
some girls carry flour sacks from home ec

I learn the burden of childrearing
carrying you sleeping on my chest

our mother sends me newly licensed
to the store with a list and you in the car seat

I feel firsthand the looks that people use to
slay and judge when they see me pushing you in

a grocery cart picking out diapers and cereal
a living toddling chastity belt

better than any guard dog
more devoted to my protection

than any targeted Nancy Reagan campaign
embarrass startle break the ice

your tiny digits come from nowhere and travel
up his nose like errant bees

you charm and disarm even the most capable
bandits who seek to steal me away

Amy BaskinAmy Baskin writes poetry, stories, picture books and non-fiction. Her work is currently featured in NonBinary Review, Sein Und Werden, The Gorge Journal, Rat’s Ass Review, Random Poem Tree, and Mothers Always Write and is forthcoming in McGraw-Hill Big Books. She’s worked on the revision process with Oregon’s former poet laureate Paulann Petersen, and participating in an online sonnet critique group with Allison Joseph.