Nancy Scott


(listen to the poem, read by Diane R. Wiener)

It’s not easy painting on slate.
Colors absorb too fast
or clump before humid precision.

The cardinal’s individual
feathers were a challenge.
But the tree and the particular
branch with that bird clinging
finally professed brush strokes
of exact intention.

But he forgot to paint the snow.
Winter is important to this picture—
it’s not just background.

How to add in that
whiteness which speaks
to perseverance and bleak beauty?
Perhaps a Q-tip dipped and downed?

The cold necessity must
mostly land on the ground
with perhaps some flakes plucked
up to the tree but
the cardinal with its planned
protection must not be touched
by this part of the plot.

Oh fickle script!
Oh how to ask
the gods of art
for such a steady hand.

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About the Author

Nancy Scott’s over 925 essays and poems have appeared in magazines, literary journals, anthologies, newspapers, and as audio commentaries. Her latest chapbook, The Almost Abecedarian, appears on Amazon. She won First Prize in the 2009 International Onkyo Braille Essay Contest. Some of her disability work also appears in the anthology, Not an Able-Bodied White Man with Money. Recent work appears in *82 Review, Black Fox Literary Magazine, Braille Forum, Chrysanthemum, Kaleidoscope, One Sentence Poems, Shark Reef, Wordgathering, and The Mighty, which regularly publishes to Yahoo News.