Winter 2001


Carol Hamilton


Even in midday the stars shine
when viewed from the bottom
of a well.  I once saw Arcturus
in the afternoon, brilliant splash on blue.
The telescope of one who knew
where to look showed me.
We sought out Venus at dusk
through our little toilet paper tubes.
I rarely try to find light on light
since such precision is required
to change the mind of heaven.
But once I made a long journey
to the Andes to watch the moon
cannonball its shadow across the high desert,
then dare to rub out day bit by bit.
With a sudden gulp, then,
it turned the heavens deep and dark,
studded sky with all the rhinestones
I only pretend to believe are diamonds.  

Carol Hamilton

Crippled Girl

There was always an element
of the pathetic, pallid as the Host
on the tongue, in my dreams.
I fake-limped, imagined staggering
out of my wheel chair to box down
the robber who came to steal
from us 4th graders.  Pencils, maybe.
He couldn't take lunch money,
as we all walked home to eat.
Too much Tiny Tim and Beth,
I suppose, and fainting Victorian
I did manage to faint a couple of times,
messy moments of blood
and shattered teeth, not romance.
I sometimes limp now
from bone that grays and rots,
is cut away.  But swoons
and lameness proved less heroic
than I supposed.  Brooding Raskolnikov
and consumptive Chopin found
their loves.  But a girl, a girl must dream
a fine line, then walk it.

 Carol Hamilton is on the graduate faculty of the University of Central Oklahoma. She became Poet laureate of Oklahoma in 1995 and received the Oklahoma Book Award for a chapbook of poetry, Once The Dust, and won this year's David Ray Poetry Award from Potpourri.


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