Patricia Scruggs
March 2022
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Patricia L. Scruggs is the author of one poetry collection, Forget the Moon. Born in Colorado, she spent ten formative years in Alberta, Canada before taking root in Southern California. Patti still sometimes uses English spelling. Her work recently appeared in Burningwood, McQueen’s Quinterly, Inlandia, ONTHEBUS, Spillway, Rattle, Calyx, Cultural Weekly, Crab Creek Review, as well as the anthologies l3 Los Angeles Poets, So Luminous the Wildflowers and Beyond the Lyric Moment. A recent Pushcart Prize nominee, Patricia is a retired art teacher who earned her MFA at the California State University, Fullerton. She and her husband of over 60 years are parents of two and grandparents of three.

DEGAS' BATHERS

 

I step from the showers in the women’s locker room

covered with an oversized towel that conceals

 

scars on my right breast, stretch marks

on my abdomen, broken veins on my legs.

 

The women around me emerge in colorful wraps

or comfortably nude. All ages, shapes and sizes,

 

they remind me of Degas’ studies of bathers

stepping into or out of the tub, turning and bending

 

to towel themselves. These women are every bit as beautiful.

I want to take out my charcoals and sketch them–

 

their heads, balanced on delicate necks,

the complexity of their shoulders,

 

the curve of their glutes,

the unguarded hollows behind their knees.

 

QUESTIONS FOR THE END OF THE WORLD

 

How can the world be ending

while ladybugs climb

the stems of the oat grass,

while Cabbage Butterflies

flirt with the orange blossoms?

 

Did the dinosaurs notice the comet

approaching the earth?

Did they raise their ponderous heads

and stare at that bright light?

 

How can the world be ending

while this mockingbird performs

an aria at the top of the walnut tree?

Look up at his smooth grey belly,

watch his throat swell with song.