The Poetry of
Jack Scott

Charles Potts

We were catapulted
into some kind of sky
together, strangers.
They told us it was up
but withheld Astronomy.

They washed their hands
in our innocence,
then warehoused us
out of sight, above.
They didn’t want to deal with us,
so they dealt us out.

They couldn’t deal
with blossoming,
or how to nurture those
who are the most of them.

Charley, choose,
I told you
before it’s done for you,
quick before you bore on in,
be somebody else:
Pick! Quick!
Just now
who would you rather be?

“You”, you said,
“I would rather be
in your place than where I am.”

Thank you, Charley
for that curse,
that millstone,
that fiction to fulfill that I could never.
They threw you on a trampoline,
but you bounced back and stuck.
You rubbed their nose
in what went wrong,
showed them
they were part of that.

You believed the ground was hard,
so for you it was.
You flattened,
bottomed out.
You landed hard.
I haven’t landed yet.

I hadn’t thought of you
in twenty years,
but freshly feel your wound.
They buried you alive, I think,
but they could not catch me.

Where did you land?
I should go back
to measure your impression,
and your silhouette.
Did they name a street for you?

I’d like to think
you lived and healed
and made a ripple,
not a dent.

I’m safe.
They disremember me,
but you
if you survive
still in their midst
who now
would you rather be?

L9 ®Copyright 1976 Jack Scott. All rights reserved.