Words Lost and Found

I lost a poem. Forever lost. Written in my teens, maybe early twenties, I haven’t thought about it in decades, however for whatever reason it surfaced in my brain yesterday morning:

Dead bird feast
with
mashed potatoes
and gravy
trickling
down

That’s it. That’s all that is left of it because that is all I remember. I think it got philosophical from there.

While searching my box of poetry that is written on papers and in sketch books I did find a short story I wrote in 1979. Micro Fiction, not even 400 words:

ELIZABETH ON LIBERATION

“The truth can make you free only if you are already free enough to want it, to go forth to meet it, to recognize it when you see it, and to accept it even if it hurts.” – Sydney Harris

Elizabeth labored slowly, dutifully. She tended the washer and dryer, in turn, warmed the water soaking the dishes, and pushed the vacuum cleaner over the wall-to-wall miles. Silently, she imaged her womb-child and repeated her husband’s accusations, measuring the balance of the two.

Deep in her heart, her unborn daughter had already taken shape and personality: the first unsteady steps; the prima ballerina she had never been. Mentally, Elizabeth unpacked the dolls she had collected; the books she had cherished. Her daughter would have Tom’s sense of strength and her older sister’s sense of style.

A month ago Elizabeth had hesitated with her knowledge. She could judge Tom’s reaction and had no courage to confront it. At dinner, the previous evening she finally summoned as much as she could manage and approached him.

“You’re what!” he demanded disbelievingly.

“Pregnant,” she whispered, forcing a quiver out of her voice.

Tom sank into his chair silently as her reply penetrated. His face grew dark, cloudy, and in one thunderous eruption, he sent the dinner dishes crashing to the kitchen floor. He locked his hands around her shoulders and rained curses on his wife, his marriage, and her deceit.

Was it deceit? Elizabeth searched her mind for the answer. When they first married, Tom had worshipped his bride. Gradually the novelty dwindled though and Elizabeth realized he was not the escape she had imagined or the man she had married. Tom’s private pilgrimage carried him deeper into alcohol and his “one bag a week for pleasure” habits. His friends were her acquaintances. Month by month, year following year, Elizabeth withdrew until Tom had labeled her frigid.

At breakfast that morning Tom was tender and apologetic. He ate with his calculator, comparing his paycheck against the new expense. Absently, he mentioned his family’s tradition of giving the firstborn son the father’s name. Obsequiously, he left her the Trans Am keys.

Patiently, deliberately, Elizabeth wound the vacuum cord. Unable to bury her doubts or face a decision, she turned to the sink and the waiting dishes.

The End

Searching

for Dean Lewis 

I didn’t find a way.
To say goodbye, that is,
but they left anyway –
my mother as I struggled
to hurry my feeble
and uncooperative father 
into the car so we could get 
to the hospital
while there was still time.
My father only 
a few months afterward
as I stood without my siblings
at his bedside
knowing he had grown
too deaf to hear anything
I might have thought to say.
It’s been twenty years.
I no longer believe 
there actually is a way 
to say goodbye.   

Vera S. Scott


Written this morning as a reflection of the emotions captured by Dean Lewis in his amazing song How Do I Say Goodbye.
A reel of this was posted to TikTok:      https://www.tiktok.com/t/ZTRQsVKqc/                

Weekend

Glancing once and then
twice out the window
with the curtain
pulled back,
inventing errands that
naturally pass by the
door already opened
and hoping
for the approaching
sound of tires.



____________
Posted to TikTok @vera_s_scott with a poignant song by the wonderful songwriter Dermot Kennedy.

Joined Patreon

Here’s Vera racing again to catch up with everyone else in the 21st century.

I’ve joined Patreon as a creator: patreon.com/verasscott I invite you to join me there also.

As a full-time writer and creator, I deeply appreciate your support, and it will truly help with expenses
related to such things as publishing, cover art, et cetera. The subscription tier groups are modest, nothing fancy or highfalutin. They start at $1 and top off at $5. The variety is meant to offer everyone a way to participate. When you come through the door, you will have access to everything I share.

Patreon will be my go-to for new poetry, short stories, and novels. The Prologue to my upcoming novel The Exiled Soldier is waiting for readers right now at patreon.com/verasscott. More will be serialized over the next few weeks. Eventually, it will be published as an e-book, but you’ll see it first!

In truth, I shied away from creating a Patreon for a long time but finally admitted to myself that patrons of the arts have existed for centuries and that the current version is crowdsourcing. “This is the way.”

Please come with me. I look forward to our conversations.

Beloved

Heavenly Creator
I ask this not in my own name but in the name of the One
face down near the olive grove.
She tried rehab three separate times.
Lord, I ask this not in my own name,
for I am unworthy, but I ask, instead, in the name
of the One abandoned by friends.
I was a thousand miles away when she died.
Holy Physician I ask
not in my own name, but in the name of the One
too beaten to shoulder the weight.
Drugs bruised deeply into her battered heart.
Father, I ask this of You in the name of the One
who beseeched You with His final breath:
Here is your daughter. My beautiful Jennifer.
Take her into your home.


____
Published in The Scent of Water on Mirrors, 2013
Written 2004 during a specific time and was meant to reflect what hypocrisy, although those who take it as an image of faith are also welcome. xo

Written during a dream

I wrote a poem in my dream last night. A friend whom I haven’t seen in several years was walking down a staircase and several people whom I didn’t recognize were milling around. I leaned over the top railing and shouted to my friend, “Revise with me!” and then I called out this poem. She stopped to listen, but never replied.

If we start at the same time
from the same place
with my right hand
touching your left
our feet will move together
perfectly.