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Claire Scott is an award winning poet who has received multiple Pushcart Prize nominations. Her work has been accepted by the Atlanta Review, Bellevue Literary Review, New Ohio Review, Enizagam and Healing Muse among others. Claire is the author of Waiting to be Called and Until I Couldn’t. She is the co-author of Unfolding in Light: A Sisters’ Journey in Photography and Poetry.
Living in Later
By Claire Scott

you said this is for your own good
as you reached for the leather strap
hanging on the hook by our fridge
you said you will thank me later
the whistling sound of just before
casting out demons you said
the searing sting
a child of the devil 
I tried not to scream 
screams made you hit harder
but I was only seven
& Mother it hurt so bad

I am living in later
a map of ropey scars 
on the backs of my legs
I wear thick stockings, long skirts
& the shame of sin 
still lingers
I see a child in a kitchen
her smocked dress
her gangly legs
the cricket of her heart 
as the world turned red
you were wrong, Mother 
I have no thanks for you