an on-line poetry magazine
for the 21st century

WINTER 2022-23

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Carol Hamilton


Jenny, my Irish grandmother,
or was she Scottish
or from Yorkshire,
her Quaker line
chased out of everywhere,
finally even Philadelphia ….
somehow the ancestors never fit….
she had too many babies,
was always left to fend alone
by preaching’s call,
died young.
My grandfather told me
they waited a long year to marry,
until her 16th birthday,
the wait, he said, a mistake.
He loved her,
but a woman is to breed,
and such a late start
left only eight surviving babes.
Jenny left life as swiftly
as the family moved on
to new houses.
And a cold biscuit might
serve as breakfast or burnt toast,
which my grandfather told me
is good for you.
It makes your hair curly.
Beauty has never been easy.

Carol Hamilton has retired from teaching 2nd grade through graduate school in Connecticut, Indiana and Oklahoma, from storytelling and volunteer medical translating. She is a former Poet Laureate of Oklahoma and has published 19 books and chapbooks: children’s novels, legends and poetry. She has been nominated ten times for a Pushcart Prize. She has won a Southwest Book Award, Oklahoma Book Award, David Ray Poetry Prize, Byline Magazine literary awards in both short story and poetry, Warren Keith Poetry Award, Pegasus Award and a Chiron Review Chapbook Award.