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Judith Waller Carroll

Judith Waller Carroll

Ordinary Splendor


Judith Waller Carroll grew up in Montana, spent thirty years in the San Francisco Bay Area, sixteen years in the Ouachita Mountains of Arkansas, and currently lives in Oregon— locales that inspire her work.

Carroll is the author of What You Saw and Still Remember, a runner-up for the 2017 Main Street Rag Poetry Award, The Consolation of Roses, winner of the 2015 Astounding Beauty Ruffian Press Poetry Prize, and Walking in Early September (Finishing Line Press, 2012). Her poems have been read by Garrison Keillor on The Writer’s Almanac, published in numerous journals and anthologies, and nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net.

She is retired from a career in public relations and fundraising.

Judith reading from Ordinary Splendor

also featuring Kevin Miller.


Ordinary Splendor

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Poem from Ordinary Splendor

My Mother Fixing Supper

Every night at suppertime, my mother sang.
Clues to what she was cooking were sprinkled like salt.
Cry Me a River she’d croon as she sliced
onions, slid them into bubbling butter,
We’re in the Money if she’d splurged on steak.
Once the food was on the table and my father seated,
she was all business—napkins on laps
and mind your manners—but while it was cooking
our kitchen was as raucous as a dance hall,
my sister and I twirling past each other
as we laid out knives and forks,
steam rising around my mother’s face
as she drained the potatoes, another song
beginning as she scooped flour from a canister,
whisked it into hot grease, and still singing,
turned it into gravy.