Carol Hamilton

Her clothes were blanched bone and jet,
and not only Stieglitz but Loengard
pared her world down below reality.
Her tight fist held her gatherings,
skulls and stones and shells,
a world balanced in a slow Tai Chi
exuberance, eyes staring down the sun,
her arms outstretched, one leg lifted behind,
a sand crane at liftoff.
There in the book’s final photograph
of her evening walk
down the washed-away ridge,
towards Pedernal, is one I’ve often taken.
Her skirts swirl, her dog waits,
the sky grumbles in grays.
This, as every shot,
hums a mantra of composure.
Some force of will brings order.
Some power shouts, “Let there be...”


Carol Hamilton is former Poet Laureate of Oklahoma. Recent books include BREAKING BREAD, BREAKING SILENCE (Chiron Review Chapbook Award), GREATEST HITS (Pudding House), I, PEOPLE OF THE LLANO (GoodSamaritan Press) and a new children's novel, I'M NOT FROM NEPTUNE. Recent and upcoming publications are in SOUTHERN POETRY REVIEW, LONG ISLAND QUARTERLY, PORCUPINE, MAIN STREET RAG, PRIMAVERA, PHOEBE, INTERNATIONAL POETRY REVIEW, PEARL, and others.


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