Slides (Interpreted by Nancy) by Nancy Kangas

In the olden days, the boy says, “Oh
I love how you run
a meeting.” And the girl says, “Oh
I love how you love how I run
a meeting.” Then you jump
in a lake and have babies.

Birches, stand there–yes,
together. People, here–huddle. Babies,
be babies. Fill the skirt, gust.
We’re nearly done here.

In the olden days, girls wore bonnets
that had belonged to other, now older girls. Boys
were zipped into that which could be washed. Women
sausaged their fingers into black silk and caressed us
as if jewel thieves. Men draped themselves in billowy
tunics and carried the dream to trap and skin foxes.

In the future, the demure dogwood will dominate
the entire west side. The yews, in gallops, will triumph the porch.
They will inherit this earth, not the people, who will stay pretty
much the same size, and leave, and not the house, which won’t move
except to shed its paint.

Do you like that hat?
If yes, is that a tea-cup yes?
Or a yes!-give-me-a-beer! yes?
Is it a leave-me-alone-let-me-eat-my-sandwich yes?
If no, is it a beet-greens-no-of-fear,
from one who has not lived among such hats?
Or is it an architectural-no?: no, not this hat on that head.
Is it a can’t-you-see-my-sandwich no? (Your sandwich
looks delicious.) Tell me
do you like the patches?

Sun at fairs is hot and malicious.
It loves to reveal your choices as ridiculous.
It knows you made the halter top yourself.

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.