118 Maida Vale, London - Nancy Scott

After shrieking sirens quit,
after dust had settled in the rubble
and the stars resumed their light,
a ragged scar ran three stories
up the north side of the orphaned twin.

Years later, the garden’s wild and dun,
saplings choking summer’s bloom.
Barbed wire coiled along the fence.
Yet high ceilings set with cherubs
charm us into renting.

The lights blink at weird hours,
floorboards creak and faucets burst.
Steam hisses from dead pipes: perhaps
childish games, high jinks, mischief,
the house lonesome for her mate.

What unruly thing blows up
the dustbin, dangles a dead squirrel
from the eaves or lures the city’s
most-wanted thief into our bedroom
in the middle of the night?

Truce, we say, we’ve months to go.
We’ve felt your bony fingers.
Today, we’ll tidy up the tool shed,
restore the garden’s luster
with dahlias, asters, and wild roses.

Nancy Scott, a University of Chicago graduate, began writing in the mid-90s as a way of recording the many stories she’d heard in her work assisting homeless families and abused children. She has authored two full length collections, Down to the Quick (Plain View Press, 2007) and One Stands Guard, One Sleeps (Plain View Press, 2009), and two chapbooks, A Siege of Raptors (Finishing Line Press, 2010) and Detours & Diversions (Main Street Rag, 2011). She has become enamored with online journals and their far-reaching audiences, as well as with the juncture of art, poetry, history and memoir, having completed a manuscript of ekphrastic poems, On Location, mostly after Russian artists, as a tribute to her grandfather. More at www.nancyscott.net.