Nancy Scott


Listen to the audio version read by Melissa Cotter.

I have promised this Aprilís Fools morning
to the novice poet known for sculpting
huge things, like trees.
I want to know how to hone
huge things, being
a cutter of syllables.

The sculptor wants the secluded restaurant,
hot coffee, fruitful scones
stirring and cutting and spreading
for something to do with his large hands.
I want sanded smooth plenty
and the unreachable, towering craft of after.

He reads his half-rhymes shyly,
rustles handwritten pages.
I lean in, thin hands folded,
pray for advice better than my own.
He wants poems and I want trees.

* * *


Listen to the audio version read by Melissa Cotter.

for Melba Toast

February wind howls
"Earn the weather you want."
So I radio-surf
to edit with someone else's mood
in F.M.'s Wiser Church of the Everyday.

Rod Stewart's gravel voice
sounds so sincere
when he declares love.
Carly Simon's vibrato
demands attention.

I could learn to trust this woman's choices,
even though she uses the food alias.
I'm hoping for shark's teeth or level ground
or lullabies.

I want the "checks and love letters" song
that accurately scales what we all need,
but I don't know if that's the title
and I forget the smoky female singer's name
so I can't request it.

"Don't tell," says the heart.
"Don't yell," says the edited heart.
"If you can't play to win, play 'til closing."

Miss Toast wants us to know
it's okay to hide some things.
Maybe her playlist will confess.

Just enough afternoon angles and static.
"Summer breeze."
"Is love the 'box' or the 'key?'"
"Isn't not too late."
"Thank God for the radio."


Nancy Scott's over 750 essays and poems have appeared in magazines, literary journals, anthologies, newspapers, and as audio commentaries. She has a new chapbook, The Almost Abecedarian (on Amazon), and won First Prize in the 2009 International Onkyo Braille Essay Contest. Recent work appears in Braille Forum, Disabilities Studies Quarterly, Philadelphia Stories, Pentimento and Wordgathering.