Author: Nancy Scott
Location: Lawrenceville, New Jersey
Nancy Scott is the author of two full-length books of poetry. Down to the Quick,
published by Plain View Press in 2007, chronicles her long experience as a social worker in child welfare and housing programs in New Jersey. Her second book, One Stands Guard, One Sleeps,
also published by Plain View Press, came out in April 2009. Nancy is the current managing editor of U.S. 1 Worksheets,
the journal of the U.S. 1 Poets’ Cooperative in Central Jersey. A chapbook, A Siege of Raptors,
is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press in January 2010.
Dandelion, a Foster Child
This tousle-haired child weeps milky tears,
a dandelion severed too far from its roots.
Today she wheedles a hug, a balloon,
a ride on a mechanical horse.
She babbles and struts with 3-year-old guile,
goading adults into loving her.
Where shadows dance on daisied walls
and matching chintz of a not-hers room,
she wakes in the dark without a whimper.
Rubs her eyes, a luminous blue,
then tiptoes through rooms
searching for her mother.
Tomorrow when she’s thirteen,
she’ll pack her diary, jeans and mascara,
lipstick her name on the mirror.
Stealing cash, she'll flee on the turn of night.
Thin silhouette at a random stop,
destination, an unknown city.
Wailing sirens will announce her arrival,
blue smoky hype hollow her eyes
in each frame of a digital camera.
From hunger to dust and the arms
of a stranger, final embrace
for this counterfeit child.
Kiss on the brow and bright gingham dress,
dandelion seeds feather up to the moon.