let’s go for a ride                 

she carries me downstairs

avoiding the second- 

to-last step

pulls on my pink snowsuit 

and my wolf hat

with pom poms

we step outside 

into swirling snow

she puts me in the back seat

of our beat-up Chrysler

clicks the seatbelt


and off we go

my mother silent

as we drive through 

drifting flakes

past Costco and Safeway

all the way to Franklin

then she slowly turns back

reversing our journey

pulls into the driveway

headlights off

tiptoes inside, my sleepy head 

against her wet face

tucks me back to bed

covers me with 

my princess quilt

whispers don’t tell


 only now years later 

when black dogs of depression

show up at the door, panting

and drooling, insisting

there is no point to any of it—

not even my four year old 

daughter with raucous hair

who gives the best hugs ever—

and I picture the ancient Hawthorne

on Madison street just past St. Paul’s

that I realize my mother took

me with her that snowy night

to be sure she would come back

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, 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.