Until I Couldn't

Available only by Prolific Press.

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Until I Couldn’t is a moving and well crafted collection of poems expressing a longing to belong, to find a home. The poems invite the reader to join a world at times menacing, barren or lonely. Poems range from a childhood riddled with alcoholism and indifference through wrestling with meaning in a world with bumbling gods. The opening poem, “Moth-Hour,” sets the tone for the collection: “Miss Landon taught us the world/is round the world is flat/moth’s hearts fail/people fall off.” The poems describe what happens when “people fall off.”

In describing a childhood of swinging fists and boxed ears, Claire Scott writes, “I reach my hand across time/to touch the child./I listen to her sing/My Only Sunshine/with my one good ear.” In “Hired Hand” she writes of a lonely child who finds solace in the arms of a much older man who works for her cold and indifferent father. She writes of the world of a younger sister who feels like “An afterthought, a footnote in six/point type,” watching her sister get the top bunk while she gets “the broken Barbie with one shoe.”

Claire Scott