Don’t Settle

Imagine a sky whose 

sun never rose.

The dark, you know, 

would become familiar,

But it would be the only

thing you know.

You know the light existed

once, but you don’t

know how it looks or feels. 

And you can’t imagine it at all.

Suppose this was your world. 

Maybe you would grow to love

the dark, but that may be simply

because you knew nothing better, as if 

the world around you is all you get

and you must settle. 

They want you to settle.



Upside down goldfish


                                                                             I                                                           tap

                                                                                on                                                          the

                                                                         glass, waiting                                         for them to

                                                                 move, but they just                            float along, cloudy in

                                                            their brilliance, bumping                     against each other and 

                                              against the glass. What a fun game they’re playing! What are they doing 

that for? I remember what I was taught, that goldfish- and people- who play this game

are somewhere else entirely: some fishbowl in the clouds where I cannot go.

These goldfish have access to uncharted waters- kelp forests

 and coral reefs that these fish here in this tank

 cannot see or even imagine. They don’t 

swim in bowls at all, but they

roam free in an ocean

 of light,

never surfacing

 for air, and never

 tiring of swimming. 

I tap the tank again

and the upside down

 goldfish jostle each 

other, making me believe 

this is all there is to their 

boring game. But I





“Triumph” of the death-tree

A man of courage 

condemned to a cross

A baby born in a 

trough bed in a barn

Strapped up like a criminal 

and saturated with sin

Denied by his followers whose faith fell through; tortured with a thorn-helm and tied to a tree

Was destined to yield while his days dwindled; this person so pure that peace couldn’t perish

Could have flown up to Heaven and be freed with a flourish; a king, who through kindness became like a kinsman

Had humility too huge 

for the heart of a human

A lamb whose slaughter 

looked like a loss

But inside a lion-heart 

that loved without limits

My Lord has left luxury

 for a thane like me

I now yearn for nowhere 

but a place at his knees

This Deity’s destiny 

to have died for me

is the imbedded meaning 

of my identity.


Biographical Note: Alexandra Frank is a freshman at Grove City College studying English and Creative Writing. She grew up in Asheville, NC and is the fourth child of six. Her favorite poet is Gary Soto and she hopes to be a professor of English and poetry someday. She received two gold key awards for the Scholastic Art & Writing regional competition in Western North Carolina and had a poem published in Heart unto Heart, a collection of stories by the beauty initiative within FOCUS.