a movement disorder in which muscles
Like a deep sea diver he drifts downward
then surfaces groggy wincing stumbling the hallways
swaying onto walls spine torqued and twisted
till he can sleep again in the easy swell
of Oxycontin before morning signals another day
stretching waterless his laptop droning
dull B movies praying for sweet relief
for more green pills he who no longer prays not since
the car the crosswalk the red light the woman texting
not since sirens splayed his life
a frayed smile at the cheese omelette untouched
plates rinsed and stacked until time for supper
I look out past tears the yellow rays
of spring daffodils the jays jabbering in the maple
I see his grey face ghosted by a silver Honda
his pleading eyes blue like mine
in the thin silence I pray if you have a drop
of mercy left O Lord don’t let him drown
Cooks know to salt eggplant before cooking,
removing the bitterness so the ratatouille or pasta
is savory, flavored with fresh herbs & garden tomatoes.
Gathering with friends & family for an easy supper
of eggplant parmesan, slightly crisp on top,
the woody smell of basil and melted mozzarella.
Sharing Pinot and stories of the past, wiping mouths
on paper napkins, refilling glasses, while children
chase lightening bugs on the late summer lawn.
What of my son hit by a car, walking with a twisted
limp, unable to work, eking out an existence on SSRI’s &
Oxycontin, while his friends play tennis & salsa dance.
What of my son sleeping sleepless on tangled sheets
no children in his future poking elbows, kicking feet
under a table laden with eggplant lasagna.
Lord, let there be enough salt in the sea
to leach the bitterness from my heart.
First Snow. New Boots.
One boot sinks into the snow. He watches. Waits a moment. Then slowly steps
with the other boot. Which sinks into the snow. He does it again. And again.
I watch the video of my grandson three thousand COVID miles away. I haven’t seen
him for ten months. This little boy who was never meant to be, whose mother
was told she couldn’t have children, who has brought wonder and delight to my son
and his wife, who was diagnosed with autism at the age of two, who pulled me
by the finger into his room and shut the door so we could play alone, who now speaks
some words and adores his school, who eats only orange food, who wants what he
wants Right Now, who loves Thomas trains and Sesame Street, who is a mischief
maker and cheats at games, who has a giggle that would melt the harshest heart,
who read a whole sentence last week,
This miracle child with an impish grin has found the secret of life at the age of five.
Stay present. One step at a time.
Claire Scott is an award-winning poet who has received multiple Pushcart Prize nominations. Her work has appeared in the Atlanta Review, Bellevue Literary Review, New Ohio Review, Enizagam and Healing Muse among others. Claire is the author of Waiting to be Called and Until I Couldn’t. She is the co-author of Unfolding in Light: A Sisters’ Journey in Photography and Poetry.