The American Journal of Poetry
"Strong Rx Medicine"®


Janée J. Baugher

The Fifth


Larceny, littering, loitering, loan-sharking.

Disturbing the peace:  porridge hot, porridge cold.


Disorderly conduct, rudeness, and moodiness.

Aggravated assault, a pepper, battery and charger.


Stalking, harassing, kidnapping:  little Bo Peep.

Aiding and abetting, public nudity all round the mulberry bush.


Extortionist, abortionist:  baa baa black sheep.

Crime of passion, crime of buggery:  one, two, buckle my shoe.


Indecent exposure, public display of affection:  seeing London and France.

Possession with intent, possession with a Winnebago.  Drive-by.


Carjacking, carjilling, matrimonialcide, modus operandi.

Tax evasion, tax fraud, taxidermy:  tax be nimble tax be quick.


Fishing without a license, breaking and entrailing.

Caught with stolen property, stolen improperly.


Art of burglary, art of rob and berry, art around the rosies

Arson, racketeering, absconding and concealing.


Murder, attempted and conspiracy:  Miss Muffet on a tuffet.

Child abuse, child in a bus, child on a choke chain.


Brandishing a deadly weapon:  manslaughter, man’s laughter.




JANÉE J. BAUGHER is the author of two poetry collections, The Body’s Physics (Tebot Bach) and Coördinates of Yes (Ahadada Books).  Her writing has been published in The Writer’s Chronicle, Boulevard, NANO Fiction, and Nimrod, among other places, and she was awarded a 2016 Marble House Project nonfiction residency.



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