CLAIRE SCOTT

THE SEA SQUIRT LOSES ITS MIND

Two parts of my life came together to inspire this poem. First, I am a bit of a science geek, and love articles about weird animals. Secondly, my husband and I are starting to look at senior living, which neither of us is really interested in. The parallel between senior living and the Sea Squirt grabbed my attention. It was really a fun poem to write and I hope others enjoy it.

It eats its own brain
once attached headfirst to a rock
where it will spend the rest of its brief life
the brain no longer needed since
it’s never going to move again

I recently settled in Sunset Lodge
last stop assisted living
in Walnut Creek, California
living a sessile existence
in a minuscule apartment

On the windowless sixteenth floor
never going anywhere again
no trips to science museums
wobbling on a walker
no beach vacations
dipping bunioned toes in salty brine

I sit in my chair all day
roots burrowing into blind earth
staring at wallpaper roses
while neurons blink out like morning stars
someone who looks like my daughter
says try yoga or tai chi

But my body barely moves anymore
my mind no longer scribbles memories
living between world and not world
yet I am alive, still alive inside my skin
counting rows and rows of pink roses

Claire Scott is an award-winning poet who has received multiple Pushcart Prize nominations. Her work has appeared in 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.

MORE FROM AUTUMN 2022 (4:2)

INTERVIEW

A Conversation with Seif-Eldeine Och, Poetry Chapbook Winner, Mark Blackford, Chapbook Editor

PROSE

An LSAT of Culture, Mike Yunxuan Li
Chichi and I, Noel Cheruto
Sudden Evolution, Eileen Tomarchio
Paying for It, Lana Hall
Decay, Rachel Lastra

POETRY

do you see me, Maya Hersh
Delineation of a Woman’s First Child as Her True Religion, Abduljalal Musa Aliyu
Busted Cantaloupe: Pilgrim, Isibeal Owens
Pray the Elegy, Njoku Nonso
Semper Augustus, Jessie Zechnowitz Lim
THE SEA SQUIRT LOSES ITS MIND, Claire Scott
The Long Call of Yearning, Guy D’Annolfo
Djinn and Men, Biswadarshan Mohanty
Last Communion, Joan Kwon Glass