Claire Scott on “Night Ride”
As a writer, I enjoy weaving the real with the non-real, creating something new that speaks of both. My poems grow from seeds within me. Some are watered by life and some by imagination. “Night Ride” is a combination of both. The inspiration came from a friend who told me that once her mother had woken her at night to go for a car ride. I found the story intriguing and mulled it over for several weeks. I grew up with a depressed, often suicidal mother. I could imagine my mother taking me with her on a night ride to prevent her from hitting a tree or driving off a bridge.
As an adult, I realized how tragic my mother’s life was. She was a brilliant woman who struggled with mental illness and alcoholism. In the last stanza I tried to show how empathy allows understanding and possibility. I would like to think the mother in the last stanza is reaching out to her mother’s experience, rather than taking a night ride with her young daughter. I feel writing by the light of a poem keeps my heart open and allows great sorrow to roll through.