Chivalry in Men, Idiocy in

“….chivalry in men is idiocy in women:
men can get out of a rescue a lot more easily, once they
get into it.” –Margaret Atwood

Where was Ms. Atwood on that bright
April day when I first spied you
in the park on Dunsmore Avenue,
eyes red, fifteen, and grinning like an idiot?

Catch me, you said, and I was game.

We tore through the playground like children,
played tag among the bucket swings
and raced the smiling ponies
on their legs of coiled spring.

Later, at the top of the slide,
we traded secrets in a house of bars—
fire poles or falls our only way out.

Was it there in the shadow of the blue
San Gabriel mountains that I decided
you needed saving? Did I sense the broken
parts of you and vow to make you whole?

She was right about one thing.
I rode that merry-go-round till the end.
Finished flat on my back,
toes dragging in the dirt, and you
gone to buy some other girl
a snow cone at the snack bar.

Kathleen Latham placed second in our 2020 Chapbook Contest with her entry, Running into an Ex, and with her consent we have selected this poem for our issue.

Kathleen Latham grew up in southern California but somehow ended up raising a family in Boston. She holds degrees from Occidental College and Harvard University and loves hockey with the passion of a convert. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in such places as River Heron Review, Fictive Dream, Constellations, Eclectica Magazine, and Tipton Poetry Journal. Her productivity is directly related to the amount of time her cat spends on her keyboard. She can be found online at KathleenLatham.com or on Twitter/Instagram at @lathamwithapen.