Danielle Chapman discusses this poem with our critic, Anthony Domestico, on the extended segment of The Commonweal Podcast.


I hear the refrigerator’s hum
turn over, the seltzer’s
minareting spores

while downstairs the girls direct
a play in which a scored balloon
named Lily Amulet is lain
in her bassinet against
the stratagems of her evil brother,
StinkyButt, embodied
by an orchid—

yet no argument, nothing but
soft rips of giftwrap and unmasked
tape as they negotiate
the haying of Amulet’s

No crisis, accelerating
into victorious survival, clocked
by revolving
arrivals at the hospital.

Just mistletoe and frankincense,
blue lights and candy canes blinking
red over a bannister,​

Danielle Chapman is a poet and essayist. Her collection of poems, Delinquent Palaces, was published by Northwestern University Press in 2015. Her poems have appeared in the Atlantic and the New Yorker, and her essays can be found in the Oxford American and Poetry. She teaches literature and creative writing at Yale.

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Published in the December 1, 2018 issue: View Contents
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