Carol Hamilton: “Back Seat Talk”

Back Seat Talk

Now it is the great-grandsons,
years after sons and then granddaughters,
always excited talk and song,
now video game updates
and online consultations,
and always such youth
is cheering, each moment offering
a promise of adventure. We did not,
in our day, spend much time
being transported, except for
rare trips to visit relatives.
No one ever listened to us.
There were two worlds . . .
ours of us outside
and theirs of them inside
or in the garden
or on the front porch.
Houses were two-storied
you might say. But still,
I was a listener in their world, too,
choosing to sit at the edge
of the grownup gossip, ignored.
Nor did they pay much attention
to our doings. Ours was
the little world, full
of our own “sound and fury.”
My 11-year-old great-grandson’s voice,
the other night, came from behind me.
“You never cry.” And when I disagreed,
he wanted to know when and why.
The four-storied universe of our ancestors
–heaven, earth, Hobbit Land and hell–
has been breached, but to understand,
________________we still need a translator.


Carol Hamilton has recent and upcoming publications in San Pedro River ReviewPinyonSandy River Review, Commonweal, Bluestem, Southwestern American Literature, Pour Vida, Adirondack Review, Broad River Review, Shot Glass Journal, Poem,  The Sea Letter, Abbey, and others. She is a former Poet Laureate of Oklahoma.

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