Monday, August 6, 2018

Nancy Scott


I was the one dispatched when a call came in
to the child abuse hot line. Denials fit
a similar pattern—a wife who wouldn’t let me
in until I agreed to interview her husband
in the basement, and would I please park
my State car in the street, not in her driveway?

As I sat in a plastic lawn chair while the washer
whirred its cycles, I questioned this chemical
engineer who worked for a multi-national company.
The allegation accused him of molesting
a four-year-old. Of course, he denied everything.
A few months later, he got caught again.
This time he landed in prison.

Now I’m sitting across from my new therapist,
who’s telling me, by way of example, how to deal
with disappointment; how he straps on camera gear
and takes the train to Philly, where sometimes
he succeeds in luring (my word) young women to pose
for outdoor "glamour shots." Promises free photos
if they come to his studio, wonders why they never
show up. Not even a call to cancel, he complains.

I'm getting a migraine. I/m tired of dealing with creeps,
especially this one in whom I've confided.
When he asks if I'm coming back next week, I say, Yes.
No need to explain why he'll never see me again.

Nancy reads "That Alternative Universe":

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Nancy confesses: "Working for the State of New Jersey was an eye-opener. I had no idea the range of mostly men, who molested children. When the licensed therapist learned I wasn't returning, he wrote the U.S. Constitution gave him the right to photograph young women and began stalking me. I went from the hunter to the hunted."

NANCY SCOTT has been managing editor of U.S.1 Worksheets for more than a decade and is the author of nine books of poetry. Her most recent, Ah Men (Aldrich Press, 2016) is a retrospective on the men who have influenced her life. She had a long career as a social worker for the State of New Jersey. which inspired many of her poems. Orginally from the Chicago area, she has resided in New Jersey for many years, but considers herself a Midwesterner.

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