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Alice Morris, two poems


Third grade– Bring your pet to school day.

My pet– Sally, the yellow-spotted salamander.

Captured in a window well.

Kept her in a five-gallon steel bucket halfway filled with dirt.

Watched her tail grow back.

Lugged her in that bucket four blocks up to school,

and back. Blistered

both my hands.

At the age of ten,

having discovered that the earth held a coolness,

I started digging an underground fort.

Two large windows, abandoned

in the garden

would be my roof.

Provide panoramic views of sky.

Knee high in dirt pit,

sweat stinging my eyes, I begged brothers and neighbor kids to help.

They bombed me with rotten tomatoes.

Called me crazy.

As I laid my shovel down, looked

toward the flaming methane sky, there,

from his twelve-foot perch, in his chicken wire cage

was my brother’s talking crow, shrieking

my name.

White-haired now, I watch my dirt-covered hands pulling weeds,

gathering zucchini, cucumbers,

yellow beans,

as golden orb weavers

among vines


set bold white zippers

against the dewy stillness of early light.

The Logic of Grief

Blue and yellow mixed– makes green– this

is an artistic fact of life


there’s an added touch of pink and brown

which makes

a cherry tree

in Washington DC.

There are approximately 3,750 cherry trees

in Washington DC

which provide nesting sites

for thousands of eagles, therefore

naturally drawn

to live as close to the capital as possible

because eagles

are the symbol of this Great Nation (What a Celebration!) often hated

by disgruntled nations

who therefore (silently) conspire

against us

and thereby

use their calculated powers


our own

fully-fueled planes

to crash into




turning my blue and yellow my green my pink and brown

into black and blue right between My USA–American eyes


causing me

and all eagles

to weep.

Alice Morris, a Minnesota native, earned her BS in English Education from Towson State University, and her MS in Counseling from Johns Hopkins. Her art has been published in a West Virginia textbook, and The New York Art Review. Her poetry has been published, or is forthcoming in The Broadkill Review, The White Space– Selected Poems, Silver Birch Press, The Avocet, The Weekly Avocet, and Delaware Beach Life. Her work is also included in two poetry collections, and two anthologies. She is a member of the Coastal Writers and the Rehoboth Beach Writers Guild. She and her husband live in Lewes, Delaware.

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