Cooper Renner

Nurse Normal

Nurse nor­mal,” the swain says every time the baby cries. “Like the cows do.”

Nurse nor­mal with the naïve genius of the squat.

Nurse the mere­ly dumb who can nei­ther mum­ble nor squeak.

Nurse the bland and faint who wake to the scent of scones and mus­sels, who hate you and your mam­maries, who have noth­ing to throw at you, not even a fit.

Sweet, aren’t they sweet?” he says, count­ing on the fin­gers of this hand with the index fin­ger of that: 1. a zip­per for the left leg; 2. vel­cro for the right; 3. a hook for the left arm; 4. a tie for the right; and 5. very best of all, a sta­ple for the head.


COOPER RENNER is the trans­la­tor of Chinese Checkers: Three Fictions by Mario Bellatin and the author of Mosefolket (poems, under the name Cooper Esteban). His web­site is at