parallax background


July 31, 2019
August 2, 2019


 To Draw Close


For six weeks Edgar Heap of Birds

worked at our school for gifted children.

We made spirals of ancestors and such,

learned to circle together,

maybe huddled around

some shared cooking fire,

heard of homes low to the earth

and dances coiling, circling,

no high ballet leaps to defy gravity,

but hoop dancers to create

dream visions with metal rings,

steps turning to become dragonfly or butterfly,

circling, circling, circled, circled.

We gathered around Edgar

all of those six weeks, drew our ancestors

close as their names spiraled out

from our first remembered,

so that we, even from our world

of conquer and subdue, might reach out

to touch the most distant ones

in our own, barely remembered,

linear and far-away time.




Magic Slate


There are many ways to leave Cuba

Young Miguel left at seven

slept among nightmares

of  how his mother plucked him

from the bullet-pocked sea

He did not talk of going home

Here is home.


But Andrés was a man back then

never spoke of his escape

but he grieved Did he remember

the brightly-colored walls

of the mansions, surely faded

peeled now with the two armchairs

always tilted to face each other

now separated to anchor a line

stretched taut to hold up

the drying diapers, the towels

the family underwear

He did talk of his homeland …

erased, he said, as if by a Magic Slate

His very own work of remembrance

vivid one moment and then

in one swift motion … gone

Gone forever.


I wonder if Andrés is still living

Perhaps If so can he at this late date

return, pick up a wooden marker

and sketch a vivid dream

of home again, there

among the mildewed walls

and the crumbling fountains

the echoing, almost-empty rooms?




Carol Hamilton has recent and upcoming publications in Pinyon, Sandy River Review, The Big Window, Commonweal, Bluestem, Southwestern American Literature, Pour Vida, Adirondack Review, The Maynard, Sanskrit Literary Magazine, U.S.1 Worksheet, Broad River Review, Homestead Review, Shot Glass Journal, Poem, I-70 Review, Louisiana Literature, Haight Ashbury Poetry Journal, The Aurorean, Blue Unicorn, Birmingham Poetry Review, Pigeonholes Review, Oddevill Press and others. She has published 17 books: children’s novels, legends and poetry, most recently, SUCH DEATHS from Virtual Arts Cooperative Press Purple Flag Series. She is a former Poet Laureate of Oklahoma.