Three Poems by Nancy Kangas





Christ that guy’s sniffing glue right
here on the subway right

next to that little
boy what is he doing

he is blowing into a sock
he has a little boot he has

a little girl he is trying to make
her little boot a little warmer


My Mother Leaves a Voicemail

Her voice has a root
I can’t pull up

She wants me to know
there are pebbles in the woods


Places Please

The young woman with the silk black bangs
in the Starbucks doing business on the phone
with the iron of a CEO: you’re here,

next to Robert’s sister
with a lump in her breast.
Then Robert.

Then the man on the train who told me he will quit his
job and move to Australia to be with his wife although
they don’t really know each other very well.

Quick young man drinking whiskeys invisibly: here,
next to the girl who mocks me with her fish mouth – you,
please, here, next to this little boy

who sings to himself softly This little light
after the gospel men in the subway sang loudly
I’m gonna let it shine. Begin.


Nancy Kangas lives in Columbus and is happy to field questions about the city. She writes and draws for Muse magazine, and often teaches poetry in residencies sponsored by the Ohio Arts Council. In addition to being a writer, she is also a flower grower, florist, and public librarian. For over a decade she edited Nancy’s Magazine, which tried to push the boundaries of what a variety magazine could and should do. She is a runner who prefers long distances because while running, she is able to figure out answers to creative, social and household problems.