Scott Ferry

Scott Ferry
helps our Veterans heal as a RN. He has recent work in the American Journal of Poetry, Misfit, and Cultural Weekly, among others. He a co-editor of Gleam: Journal of the Cadralor. His second book Mr. Rogers kills fruit flies will come out in November 2020 from Main St. Rag. More of his work can be found at


At 51

I only have ten minutes before my infant son wakes
in a spasm of hunger and only eighteen years until

he goes to college. For my daughter I only have
ten years. These days are slipping.

I won’t remember it all.
My mother doesn’t have much memory left.

Please, God, let me keep all of this—
the everyday banter of swallowing

and sleeping, the slide of my children’s
hands as they release my grip.

Mesmer (a Cadralor)


     1. As the hospital professionals in their periwinkle scrubs
whisk by the homeless tents I hear her from behind the chestnuts
“I still own half of Walt Disney” until her sunburned eye catches mine
“How are you? My sister knows. I love you.” But as I get 20 paces
away: “I hate you.”

     2. At 15 my cousin and I walk back down Magnolia after dinner
July and the shorebreak shifts up in brined clefts
and we both jump into the rise skimming into the empty
mist inside circular arguments—a hymn of slow singing
until the thick collapse—knees and wrists in sand

     3. My hand on his seagreen gown his hair sweeps in wordless
ache my mother weeps—the only sentence he speaks is: “I cannot
say what I want to say” but his eyes pierce us through this strangled
string of light—he decides and the air breaks from the center
of his body and his eyes rush empty—his substance now filigree

     4. At 9 I cannot sleep without a light on cannot allow
the ghosts to gain purchase in this airpocket cannot rest
with all the empty fingers lighted by a dim light
curling under each pre-sleep twitch—no vacuum is uninhabited
every movement underwater—a mesmer lifting my limbs 

     5. When I lift him up to connect with his eyes my son
jibbers drool and leaps up and up and up his arms flapping—
a thickbodied sparrow and I grasp his newtoothed face
in both hands as if to contain this leaping as if to capture
this holy blistering in my mouth—a prayer, a prayer!

Video at three months

That first deep laugh
bubbling out of your stomach
and chest, all 16 pounds of
your mass tensing with each chortle—
air taken in and spat out
in squint-eyed

My son, there are so many things
to laugh about here and twice as many
to weep over. Let the stream of your tears
sink into the soil. The real living—
God’s river of light
which fills

of your cells with breath—this is
laughter. And this, son, is your
first real talk with your small
silver God. Keep one hand
on this swirling
vein, this

holding weightlessness through
years of blue-winged promises
disguised as words, holding
some slip of hope through
each disappointment.
May it become the

within your voice. From this
bright coil build your cities
of belief and faith. And, please,
son, for you and your children,
let the stream of your tears
sink into the


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