In Plain Sight

She is surviving
did I say that
year after year
still six years old
suspended inside me

she is surviving

I said that already
but not really living
a scraped out soul
imprinted with despair

drifting in a phantom cloud
on the other side of time
I am doing a good job
really I am

never again

keeping her out of this world
where belts bruise, hands grope
breath reeks of alcohol

never again
keeping her wrapped in

a fantasy where nothing
ever happened
she is hidden in plain sight
in her smocked dress
pigtails and invisible scars

there are so many like her
whose souls floated away

I hear them
voices rustling, barely audible
ethereal bodies suspended

in a thin band of twilight

did I tell you I hear them
only grief will bring her back
the body of a six year old
shaking and sobbing

on the couch of a woman
who has put down her pad
and listens with moist eyes
to a child returning to life
reliving the unlivable

bearing the unbearable
as her body tells its tale
what never could have

I don’t want her to suffer

I said that before


About the Author: Claire Scott is an award winning poet who has published in numerous literary magazines. She has been nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize (2013 and 2014). She was also a semi-finalist for both the 2014 Pangaea Prize and the 2014 Atlantis Award. Claire is a winner of the Arizona State Poetry Society 2013 Annual Poetry Contest. Her forthcoming first collection of poems, Waiting to be Called, will be published April 24, 2015.