Monday, September 12, 2011

Nancy Scott


Massive head trauma, internal injuries.
The child won't make it to morning.
The mother and the grandmother sit
in the waiting area.
They haven't been told yet.
The boyfriend, the babysitter, denies
he was high on smack, insists the child
was asleep in the playpen,
when he ran to the deli to buy cigarettes.
He can't explain how the toddler
got hit by a car on the highway
seven blocks from the apartment.

Nancy reads "Smack":

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Nancy confesses: "As a caseworker employed by the NJ Division of Youth and Family Services, I interviewed the adults, but was unable to get the babysitter to admit that the child had wandered away from him while he was scoring smack. The case was closed and no one was charged."

NANCY SCOTT is the current managing editor of U.S.1 Worksheets, the journal of the U.S.1 Poets’ Cooperative in New Jersey. She is the author of two books of poetry, Down to the Quick (2007) and One Stands Guard, One Sleeps (2009) published by Plain View Press, and two chapbooks, A Siege of Raptors (Finishing Line Press, 2010) and Detours & Diversions (Main Street Rag, 2011) For decades she worked on behalf of abused and neglected children, as a caseworker for the State Division of Youth and Family Services, licensed foster parent, and advocate for changing archaic adoption laws. She is parent to three adopted bi-racial children, who had been in foster care. Her website is


Thomas Pluck said...

Sad and very true. I remember a case in NJ where a little girl was hit on the highway at five in the morning.

Keith Rawson said...

Jesus that's brutal.

Anonymous said...

Powerful but sad piece. Great work!!

Sarah Henderson said...

How sad it must be to lose a child in this careless way. Great writing!