The book is a collection of narrative and lyrical poems inspired by my career, spanning several decades, as a social worker for the State of New Jersey, when I responded to allegations of child abuse and assisted homeless families to find permanent housing in the community, and also by my experiences as a foster parent.
Review by Donna Donovan, Midwest Book Review:
Running Down Broken Cement
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Kelley Jean White, MD, has said this about the book: Nancy Scott is truly a voice crying in the wilderness, the American wilderness of broken cement and breaking lives. She has earned her voice by years of work among the poorest of our poor, with those struggling on the edges of our broken systems of health, education, and welfare. She has listened carefully and now bears witness to the sufferings and triumphs of…those neighbors we have turned our backs on…. You may need to read this book slowly, a few poems at a time, but you need to read it. These are not pretty stories–they will trouble your spirit and break your heart. Scott’s people will stay with you, those who are hungry, unhoused, sometimes angry, yet often wise and forgiving. You’ll watch Rosalita tenderly care for a child despite her broken body, meet Andre and Woody, Tyrone and Calvin, Danela and Balfour, young people struggling to find reasons and ways to live on our bleakest streets, wait with Marisol at the welfare office and free clinic. You’ll also visit Myra, nearly eighty, who counsels parents of suicides, Roger who’s learning to cook “as a blind man”, Mary, who at 81 pleads to have her apartment back…
Lake Carnegie, Late Afternoon
Orange sky slips below
the tree line. College oarsmen,
stroke by stroke,
slice ever-graying water.
On the road, arms awhirl,
a legless man, wheelchair-bound,
placard round his neck—
I’m a homeless Vet.
All race against the fading light,
resolute on course.
One outwitting midnight’s chill,
others to the boathouse.
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