Two Poems (2012)

by darlene anita scott


He raises his hand to solve for x
but is not selected.

He rewrites his homework
after working out the equations
to make it all look neat.

He makes the bubbles of his 5s perfectly round
like a globe.

He is a boy without a Father.

He can point out Russia on the map
and seems to have photographed
Georgetown in his memory.
He’s only been once.

His eyes are steely;
his teeth almost refuse to stay in the confines of his mouth.
And he used to love eggs.

When the solution for x doesn’t give his equation the balance
he needs tonight, he will wet the bed.

He will learn fear soon enough
but for now he tries hard to be
a worthy son. Which is never in the lessons.

He raises his hand again and when he’s selected
he feels pressure in his groin; the pressure that
escapes his nights.

He is a boy without a Father.


How Today Will Look When It’s History

14 September 1977

Two days ago I turned 28.
And Steven Biko died in South Africa.

I am 28 years old, wearing two plaits on either side of my head,
a kerchief, and denim clam diggers.

I work in the medical building
and one day, I’m going to get a medical degree.
Inhaling the sterile, new plastic smell of Johnson’s band-aids,
scratching my inner ear with Q-tips, and making crafts
with tongue depressors are the best ways
to pass another rain storm.

I could use a good manicure.
My dad would say I need one
and a hair cut too. That’s so bourgeois
is what I would tell him.
But I agree.

My ankle itches.

Today I had rice.
There’s usually rice.
And I had gravy.

Since being here I have fallen in love.
Damon – back in Redwood full of his plans, my careless privilege –
would not believe me.

In the house, we shared too much he said.
Too much to ever give an honest damn about anyone –
only everyone.

I have no reason for lying and have never found
any reasons yet. Maybe one day I will.

I have two sisters, a brother, and
none of them look like me.
Sometimes I wish they did.
Or I, like them.

(These two poems originally appeared in ITCH e. 10, May 2012, and are reprinted with permission.)

(Poet darlene anita scott is a regular contributor to the jonestown report. Her complete collection of writings and poetry for this site may be found here. She can be reached at

Originally posted on July 28th, 2013.

Last modified on November 10th, 2015.
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