Resolutions by Daisy Bassen

To learn the word in every language

For saffron, to know without thinking

How it sounds in French, Kiswahili,

Cantonese, Creole; what shape

My thumb must take in the sign

And the shadow animal it makes

Against the wall. Saffron.

I will start there.


You want to understand the immortality

Of the crocodile, a negligible senescence,

200 million years. There isn’t a way

For me to know what a crocodile calls

Saffron, 60 million years they waited

For the first flower, 60 million years

To decide the name. I remember

When your cheeks were fat and jaundiced,

As if you’d rubbed them in a field’s worth

Of buttercup pistils. Neither of us

Will recall these resolutions next year,

Not without this poem, but a gharial

Remembers the first violet crocus.


Daisy Bassen is a practicing psychiatrist and poet. She has been published in Oberon, The Sow’s Ear, AMWA Literary Review, The Opiate, SUSAN|The Journal, Arcturus and Adelaide Literary Review and has several pending publications. She lives in Rhode Island with my husband and children.