My Talk
—a poem by Nels Hanson

What is it, a final fatigue, despair,
laziness, self pity, pride, backbone
willing as a canvas sail, this strange

persona I catch myself falling into,
old Southwestern drawl my educated
parents didn’t have but the Dust Bowl

kids at school did, so I said kaint instead
of can’t, to get along, to speak our
common language. Now again I say

it, slow, laconic, fairly neutral, allow
all things are possible, nod good and
bad weigh often in unequal measure.

Nels Hanson grew up on a small farm in the San Joaquin Valley of California and has worked as a farmer, teacher and contract writer/editor. His fiction received the San Francisco Foundation’s James D. Phelan Award and Pushcart nominations in 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2016. His poems received a 2014 Pushcart nomination, Sharkpack Review’s 2014 Prospero Prize, and 2015 and 2016 Best of the Net nominations.