Smiles in Stripes of Pink

Cotton candy, cloud-soft,
melts against the tongue,
disappearing,
as a swirl of laughter begins
somewhere within the heart
bubbles against the rib cage
until sides threaten to split
in half.  First day at the fair
for Sally, with her grandma
who had almost forgotten
how laughter sounds
and how it feels,
all sticky,
like the best glue
for holding hearts in place.

c Copyright, 2012, Freeda Baker Nichols

GOD BLESS MY AMERICA

Portsmouth, NHMission

How patriotic am I?
With respect and honor,
I recite the pledge
and sing the National Anthem.

But would I pick up a rifle,
sight and aim it
in defense of my liberty?
Would I die?
How patriotic am I?

This country I claim;
I delight in its wealth and its beauty;
its freedom I strongly proclaim,
But to keep it,
would I be willing to die?
Would I?
How patriotic am I?

c Copyright, 2012, Freeda Baker Nichols
From Poets’ roundtable of Arkansas Anthology