I Am a Midwestern Winter

I have a collection of space heaters.
My hair was expected to be black
like my father’s. You were conceived
by a beach and a valium.
I say I don’t have the best
immune system.

          (I have a yeast infection. I have canker sores.
          I have agreed to be a 31 year old dog sitter.)
I grew up wearing a tutu
over snow pants.
Stephanie Tanner and Dawn
from Baby-Sitters Club, mythical
to me as centaurs.
I think about warm places. As I listen
to Josephine Baker sing Brazil
I could swear she says
where you put your ass in it.

Meg Johnson is the author of the full length poetry collection Inappropriate Sleepover (The National Poetry Review Press, 2014) which was recently a NewPages Editor’s Pick. Her poems have appeared in Hobart, Nashville Review, The Puritan, Sugar House Review, Verse Daily, and others. Meg started dancing at a young age and worked professionally in the performing arts for many years. She is the editor of Dressing Room Poetry Journal and recently received her MFA in creative writing from the NEOMFA Program. She is working on her second full length collection which has been a finalist in book contests. Meg is currently a lecturer at Iowa State University. Her website is: megjohnson.org and she blogs at: megjohnsonmegjohnson.blogspot.com