Monday, July 14, 2014

Nancy Scott


In the morning news:
A was convicted of murdering her third husband B forty years ago.
At the time, A didn't have much invested in B.
They'd only been married three months.
A shot B in the back of the head, because she thought B
was about to assault her two-year-old daughter C, a child
from her second marriage.
Police believe B had come off a night shift and wanted to sleep
and may just have been trying to quiet C who was crying.
A bundled B's body and carted it to a place where she
and her second husband, D, the father of C, worked as caretakers.
Shortly afterward, A married her fourth husband E,
who apparently was unaware of what had happened to B.
The pair, A and E, lived quietly for decades,
until the police discovered that E had murdered his ex-wife F
and his two sons G and H after he'd married A.
E explained that F was harassing him about his marriage to A
and E didn't know any other way to make F stop.
Now in their mid-seventies, A and E have confessed.
They have been sentenced to life without parole.
Whereabouts of second husband D and daughter C are unknown.

Nancy reads "The Alphabet of Murder":

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Nancy confesses: "A version of these events was published online at the Huffington Post as a true crime story. In this poem I attempted to diagram what I had read in the article because I was having trouble making sense of the logistics of what happened and when."

NANCY SCOTT is managing editor of U.S.1 Worksheets, the journal of the U.S.1 Poets' Cooperative in New Jersey. She is the author of seven books of poetry. The eighth, The Lanky Fisherman or Why the Winter Wind Howls over Mersey Lake (a chapbook of retold fairy tales) is forthcoming from Aldrich Press in late 2014. She is also an artist. Her poetry and artwork can be found at

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