Jiff & Jelly

Claire Scott

Did I get out the
Jiff & jelly
cut off the crusts
slice a carrot
of course I did
I always do
I remember licking
the sticky knife
sweet peanut butter
in my mouth
do I
was that today
in such a hurry
always such
a hurry
Sara grumpy
stirring cheerios
in milky circles
but what if
a backpack
with no lunch
a teacher aghast
child protective
“open up”
cold nights in
county jail
under a thread-
bare blanket
a cellmate with BO
a chronic cough
months until
my case is heard
by a burnt-out judge
lacking a sliver
of mercy

I know I made it
I’m sure/ am I
the kind of mother
who would forget
I can’t be
so I must have


Claire ScottClaire Scott is an award winning poet who has been nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize. Her work has been accepted by the Atlanta Review, Bellevue Literary Review, Enizagam and Healing Muse, among others. Claire is the author of Waiting to be Called and the co-author of Unfolding in Light: A Sisters’ Journey in Photography and Poetry.