The Sandwich
by Maggie Rosen

I ask my daughter if she likes
her peanut butter sandwich.
She says, “kindof,”
which, it turns out,
means “my throat is swelling
and hives are marching across my chest.”

I remember a copperhead grazing my shin in a stream.
One time I leaned on grass
to reach a tennis ball
and the yellow jackets inflamed my hand.
A black widow spider lived
quietly, alone
under a stool at the nursery playground.

Now I carry antidote
for my daughter’s venom, poised at all times
to stab her to save her.
This river will bathe her
in breaths, or send her down.
The eye of this needle
zooms in on the point of my life and hers,
cinched between antibody and antigen,
I do not like this sandwich.



About the Poet:  Maggie Rosen lives in Silver Spring, Maryland. Her poems have been published in Little Patuxent Review, Waccamaw, Cider Press Review, RiverLit, Blood Lotus, Beltway Poetry Quarterly, Barely South, and Conclave, among other publications. Her chapbook, The Deliberate Speed of Ghosts, was published in 2016 by Red Bird Chapbooks. See more at