Fall 2010, Volume 9

Poetry by Gay Baines

My Father Holding Me

in a torn-off black and white photo
at camp, the doorway behind him:
I am sour, eyes shut, fingers in that
fussy little pose unused hands assume.
He wears a sailor’s cap, a cigarette
dangles from his mouth. My cheeks
are fat from nursing. Somewhere in the
background, unseen, is the lake with its
lonely forests. Farther away is
Orange Avenue, where we lived
most of the year.
Even farther is London, not yet
blitzed. Still farther is Europe,
falling apart. In a few years
we’ll sit in one room of the house.
Dad will patrol the streets in his
trench coat and tin hat, a blackout
warden for the night. But not now.
It’s summer, we’re at the cabin called,
with no irony, Camp Gay. I am three
weeks old, and I am safe because
my father is holding me.


BIO: Gay Baines lives in East Aurora, New York and is a member of the Roycroft Wordsmiths. She has a B.A. in English from Russell Sage College, and has done graduate work at Syracuse University and SUNY – Buffalo. She won the National Writers Union Poetry Prize in 1991, Honorable Mention in the Ruth Cable Memorial Poetry Contest in 1996, and the 2008 Mary Roelofs Stott Award for poetry as well as other prizes. Her poems, essays, and short stories have appeared or are forthcoming in 13th Moon, The Baltimore Review, Bayou, The Buffalo News, Cadillac Cicatrix, The Cape Rock, Carquinez Poetry Review, The Chaffin Journal, Cimarron Review, Confluence, Confrontation, Controlled Burn, CQ (California Quarterly), The Croton Review, Crucible, Dislocate, Drumvoices Revue, ELF: Eclectic Literary Forum, Eclipse, Eureka Literary Magazine, The Great American Poetry Show, Hampden-Sydney Poetry Review, Hiram Poetry Review, Iodine Poetry Journal, Kiosk, Limestone, Louisiana Literature, Lullwater Review, Lumina, Luna Negra, Meridian Anthology Of Contemporary Poetry, Nimrod International Journal, Oregon East, Paper Street, Pearl, Pennsylvania English, Phoebe, The Pinch, Poem, Poet Lore, Quiddity Literary Journal, Rattapallax, RE:AL, Rio Grande Review, River Oak Review, RiverSedge, Rosebud, The Roycroft Review, Schuylkill Valley Journal of the Arts, Ship of Fools, SLAB, Slant, Slipstream, Sojourner, South Carolina Review, Spillway, The Texas Review, Thin Air, Wellspring, Westview, Whiskey Island, Willow Review, Wisconsin Review, Xanadu, and Zone 3.