Poems of Place

Jessica Ramer

Twenty-one, Trapped, and Pregnant

A wind storm blows snow against the door, trapping you
inside. An Air Force captain digs you out. Weeks before
you deliver your first child, you fear being snowed in during labor.
A staff sergeant tells you, “If I can load bombs, I can catch a baby.”

Maternity Clothes

“Dan, hold the baby,” you hiss at your husband,
who stares, unhearing, into the distance.
Your homemade maternity skirt.
falls off. In church. On Easter Sunday.

The Alcan Highway

The camper smells like propane and dirty diapers
as you bump down the gravel road toward Florida
with its fresh milk and cockroaches as big as butterflies.
You arrive just in time for the Cuban Missile Crisis.


Jessica RamerJessica Ramer is currently a doctoral student at the University of Southern Mississippi’s Center for Writers, but has spent most of her life teaching algebra.