Slides (Interpreted by Nancy) by Nancy Kangas

Cowboy cowgirl Mom and baby

Stay scared.
Who’s armed, who’s not.
Whose suit is red.
Whose lips are made so.
Whose come like that
from blood inside.
Chicken pox
One chickenpock.
Two chickenpox. Three. Thirteen.
Forty-seven. Nota bene: This happened.
Is happening. Not for shame, but
for the ship’s log do we document.
And of course to honor the force of poxes.
Boy and girl and saddles shoes
For a while, after they married, she would say
Good morning, Gorgeous. Later, she would ask
How did you sleep? so as not to oversell her love.
Four kids with feet in water
That pig tail holder was bogus.
Feeble crescent of plastic with an actual
rubber band. Good riddance, past
that offered up half a heart. You, too,
summer, and your demand for folly.
Charlie, Grandma and me
To imagine Abraham Lincoln think of Charlie
who was taller than he meant to be and whose voice
came from as far away as the Civil War.
To be grateful for small breasts
there is grandma
in the sauna.
To surrender
wear that skirt.
Nancy Kangas lives in Columbus, Ohio. Her poetry has been published in print and online, and for over a decade she edited Nancy’s Magazine. She writes and draws for Muse magazine, and often teaches poetry in residencies sponsored by the Ohio Arts Council. Nancy works as a cut-flower grower, florist and public librarian.