Alice Sanford

Law, Law, Lawdy, Law (in March, 2022, with spouse)

I believe it is peace for our time.
Go home and get a nice quiet sleep.
— Neville Chamberlain. 30 Sept. 1938

Over coffee we talk about the fifties:
Our elementary schools, polio vaccinations,
Bomb drills, crawling under classroom tables to be —
Safe. Everywhere this week, pictures of Ukraine:
Children hunched in concrete cellars.
No food. For water, melted ice or snow,
Ukraine still wintery and cold. Pictures
Of children and parents, cars left on the highway.
The old carry the young or hold their hands,
Walking into — What? Safety? —
Evacuation corridors, bombed by Russian planes.
Emmett Till walked alone in 1955 in spring.
More than half a century since that child’s death
In America, Congress says lynching’s a hate crime.
Is shelling civilians a hate crime? A war crime?
Can bombing a reactor ever be an accident?
Ukraine operates fifteen.
They say that Putin’s hands are shaking,
That maybe he has Parkinson’s. They say at judo
He’s a master. My aunt’s hands and ribs were broken
Once. She was a master who forgot to withdraw.



Half a century’s come and gone since Alice Sanford matriculated from Vanderbilt, convinced that her generation would birth a better world. She has written a lot and published a little (ART/LIFE, Santa Barbara Review, and other journals).  She misses her former optimism and, since her retirement from teaching Latin and English, her former students. Her writing, as always, is an attempt to apprehend the world as it exists, fleas, warts, and all.