9am to Noon • Tobi Cogswell

People touch her.
They pet her and pat her.
Sometimes they rub
the swelling globe of her
baby-to-be, sometimes
they don’t even know her.
Only once at a conference did she
want to be touched by someone
she didn’t know.

She followed a man with her eyes,
for three days she watched as his charisma
filled the room, knew where he was,
knew when to have a brandy
in the bar—this was two years ago.
She remembers the moment
they passed in the aisle, he slid his finger
down the side of her hand, kept on walking.
They have not been in the same places since.

What would have changed if she’d
followed him? 9am to noon,
the time between getting sick,
and getting sick again.
Every day she is punished,
and touched. Don’t touch her.

Ginger ale,
candied ginger,
ginger colored hair,
spiral of hair on a newborn’s back,
newborn neediness,
needing the slight touch of his finger,
still thinking about the aisle dance.
What would have changed if she’d


Tobi Cogswell is a multiple Pushcart nominee
and a Best of the Net nominee. Credits
include or are forthcoming in various journals
in the US, UK, Sweden and Australia. In 2012 and
2013 she was short-listed for the Fermoy International
Poetry Festival. In 2013 she received Honorable Mention
for the Rachel Sherwood Poetry Prize. Her sixth and
latest chapbook is “Lapses & Absences”, (Blue Horse Press).
She is the co-editor of San Pedro River Review.