find fool's gold in the tar, your fingers quick and sure
snag the refuse of day: nothing there but a clutch of ruin.
This city, bells and whistles jangling, serenades his way
against the light and he, dodging death, taunts it like acid rain
or the whomp of the ball, and sidles onto the asphalt court,
making the steal from stalky boys now haphazardly grown.
He fakes in his child's clothes, put on in darkness, quickly torn,
a stitch in the gash of plummy skin, proud flesh swelling waywardly.
And child, knowing scant of night beyond its unctuous charms,
will run and run against the light, seeking some delirious sign.
Let no fool or hired gun and let no winking of the moon
shroud a child stumbling toward prime-- so easily blown away--
no bells toll out dirge of blade severing soul from bone.
Carol Alexander's poems have appeared in numerous journals, including Bluestem, Canary, The Commonline, Chiron Review, Earthspeak, Eunoia Review, Ilya's Honey, Mobius, Northwind Magazine, Numinous, Red Fez, Red River Review, OVS, Poetrybay, Poetry Quarterly, The New Verse News, and Sugar Mule. Her work has also been published in the anthologies Broken Circles, Joy Interrupted, The Storm is Coming, Proud to Be: Writing by American Warriors, and Surrounded: Living with Islands.
Alexander was the Poetry Finalist in the Warriors Alliance Poetry Competition for "Rewind" and received Honorable Mention in an NPR poetry contest judged by Tracy K. Smith for "Port Arthur Girl." Her poem "The Penalty" was nominated for a 2013 Pushcart Prize. Alexander's first chapbook, Bridal Veil Falls, is published by Flutter Press (March, 2013).