You can go home again, Mr. Wolfe
I know because I have
I went back

And wandered empty rooms
where murky memories came to life
like shadowed specters of the past
I could smell Sunday’s burnt lima beans
cook’s day off, cereal for supper
I could hear the screams, the slaps
and feel the fear clenching
my belly like a curled fist
I could see my mother’s face
distorted with bourbon and rage
the wooden spoon, the rolling pin
I could see four small children
in four separate rooms
playing with dolls or trains or trucks
creating another world
where we would be safe

Mr. Wolfe, you were wrong
you can go home again
but would you want to?


Claire Scott is an award-winning poet who has received multiple Pushcart Prize nominations. Her work has appeared in the Atlanta Review, Bellevue Literary Review, New Ohio Review and Healing Muse among others. Claire is the author of Waiting to be Called and Until I Couldn’t.