Kate McCarroll Moore

Two Poems – Kate McCarroll Moore


It’s the end of August – a sweltering day,
steam rising in waves as we dance
our way off the downtown bus
flaunting our independence

two twelve-year-olds on an urban quest
to buy back-to-school dresses
without our mother’s approval
twenty dollars saved quarter by quarter by quarter

mine is paisley green with a miniature matching purse
that swings from my shoulder on a silver chain
like the one mod Twiggy’s sporting
on the cover of my mother’s latest Vogue

rounding the corner, dizzy with the day
I stumble into her, this unfamiliar woman
waiting for the next bus, slightly out of focus
as she calls out my name, grazes my arm, smiles knowingly

How could you be my grandmother,
Standing there in nylons, hat, and heels?

How could the woman standing at the stove each Sunday
yellowed apron tied atop the same pale housedress
letting me stir the chocolate pudding till it’s smooth
have a life beyond this kitchen, and be more than what she seems


Once Upon a Time

it had stopped raining
a ladder of sunlight footed on the threshold —
a hectic of birdsong, the wonder of the world

you stood in the revelation
of so many stars & your soul felt enormous
the story of your life struck by electricity

truth turns into story when it grows old
in the dust of the roads
and the memories of birds

this is sorrow, this is happiness
we all become stories in the end
everybody carries a world

(A found poem torn from the pages of This is Happiness, a lyrical novel by the Irish writer Niall Williams.)


Kate McCarroll Moore is a collector of stories, discarded objects, and memories. She is a mentor teacher, book coach, and staff developer who served three terms as Poet Laureate for the City of San Ramon. Kate holds a Doctorate in Educational Leadership for Social Justice and she uses her passion for poetry to promote kindness, empathy, and connection. She was an education columnist for several years and has had her poetry published in numerous journals and anthologies. Currently serving as a book coach for a non-profit organization that connects low-income families with access to high-quality books, Kate teaches online writing classes and has studied with Naomi Shihab Nye, Tess Taylor, and Georgia Heard among other poets. She is the author of the chapbook, Avians of Mourning, as well as two middle-grade novels. Her full poetry collection, Alphapoetica: A Poetry Primer for the Everyday Poet, will be published in March 2022. Kate is grateful for her East Coast roots, and loves living with her husband in northern California where the sky is always blue, the birds are always singing, the garden is always beckoning, and her children and grandchildren are always close by.



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