Not Fair by Carol Hamilton

Not Fair

by Carol Hamilton

The children keep bristling
like a cornered porcupine,
happy to point, complain,
run to the playground teacher,
they all righteous and aglow.
Whole peoples nurse
their grievances, and she, too,
remembering every slight
since childhood, fingering
hard and inedible berries
over and over. They are dried
beyond the escape of rot
and disintegration. The people’s
agrieved histores are not theirs,
exactly, but are appropriated
from their dead. These tales
have a bitter sheen like a highly
polished and poisoned apple,
a temptation. This is how
we push death back. We are too
angry to recognize her on the road.
We demand compensation
before we die. We are in no
mood to bargain with her.
###

Carol Hamilton: “I have recent and upcoming publications in Cold Mountain Review, Common Ground, Gingerbread House, Main Street Rag. Sacred Cow. U.S.1 Worksheet, Pontiac Review, Louisiana Literature, Abbey, 805, Poem, Third Wednesday, One Trick Pony, Plainsongs, O.V.S. Magazine, The Aurorean, The 3228 Review, Illya’s Honey,and others. I have published 17 books: children’s novels, legends and poetry, most recently, SUCH DEATHS from Vac Press Purple Flag Series. I am a former Poet Laureate of Oklahoma and have been nominated seven times for a Pushcart Prize.”

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Not Fair by Carol Hamilton The children keep bristling like a cornered porcupine, happy to point, complain, run to the playground teacher, they all righteous and aglow. Whole peoples nurse their grievances, and she, too, remembering every slight since childhood, fingering hard and inedible berries over and over. They are dried beyond the escape of rot and disintegration. The people’s agrieved histores are not...