Enjoy a taste of Alice’s award-winning poetry!

Award Winner, Poetry Council of North Carolina

Pale plaid dresses brush
against pink walls, patent leather
Mary Janes kick white tiles.
Two balloons escape into rafters,
and I haven’t tasted even a teaspoon of ice cream.
I won’t, not on this day.
My third birthday, high voices
squeal above the store’s door chime.
Hands clap—my mother’s—
demanding silence. Guests disappear
like popped bubbles. The girls go home
because I’m not behaving my mother says.
I never find out what I did wrong,
but I remember her saying:
I love you, but sometimes I don’t like you.

For a long time I feared the chance
of friends leaving early.
Will anyone love me when they know me?
Will they show up at my parties?

Now after a decade of marriage and two children,
I fear my tongue-sealed invitations
go unanswered. While cradling white wine
I don’t want anyone to leave me.
I smile too wide, needy for crammed rooms.