About Me

My photo
Nancy Simpson's LIVING ABOVE THE FROST LINE, New and Selected Poems was published by Carolina Wren Press (N.C. Laureate Series, 2010.) She is the author of ACROSS WATER and NIGHT STUDENT, State Street Press, still available on WWW at Alibris and Books Again. Her poems have been published in Southern Poetry Review, Prairie Schooner, The Georgia Review and other literary magazines. "Carolina Bluebirds" was published in THE POETS GUIDE TO THE BIRDS, Anhinga Press). "Grass" was reprinted in the 50th Anniversary Issue of Southern Poetry Review: DON'T LEAVE HUNGRY ( U.of Arkansas Press.) Seven poems were reprinted in the textbook, SOUTHERN APPALACHIAN POETRY,(McFarland.) Two poems were published in SOLO CAFE, Two more poems were published in SOLO NOVO."In the Nantahala Gorge" was published in Pisgah Review. "Studying Winter" was reprinted in Pirene's Fountain Anthology and "The Collection" in Collecting Life Anthology. Most recently, Southern Poetry Review Edited by James Smith, published "Our Great Depression," and The Southern Poetry Anthology Vol. VII: NORTH CAROLINA,Edited by William Wright, reprinted "Leaving in the Dead of Winter."

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


I first met Jayne Jaudon Ferrer when she came to
John C Campbell Folk School to read in the series:
Poets and Writers Reading Poems and Stories which
is cosponsored by the folk school and North Carolina
Writers Network West.  It was not long afterward that
Netwest asked me to edit a new anthology and the call for
stories, essays and poems went out.
(Photo taken at John C. Campbell Folk School when Jayne came to read her poems. Left to right - Natalie Grant, Nancy Simpson, Janice Townley Moore, Jayne Jaudon Ferrer, Glenda Beall)

Jayne sent some poems. My letter to her asking for “Street Scene” probably crossed  with her submission in the mail. I remember getting a  letter from her saying we could reprint “Street Scene” but she could not imagine why I would want that one.

I assured her I wanted to reprint “Street Scene."  You will only understand how greatly I wanted that poem to be in the anthology if you read the anthology and if you then read the short story  that follows “Street Scene,” which is “The Spirit Tree,” an exceptional and  haunting story written by Susan Lefler. Pull out your copy and read them.

Street Scene

by Jayne Jaudon Ferrer

I think, at first, she is laughing.
No, drunk. Or high, or crazy, perhaps.
She circles on the broken sidewalk,
fumbling with her bags, stumbling from the weight.
At the red light, I watch, in judgment.
Low life. Trash. Delusional loser.
And then I see her tears, her face—
a wretched bas relief of anguish,
and my heart goes soft with new perspective.
In an instant I know this is a woman abandoned.
Her self-esteem shattered, her self-control consumed,
she is here with her every possession on display,
dumped like discarded ballast.
She staggers, lost, weeping north, and then west.
South; again, west.
I am staggered as well.
Could my life be so succinctly shoved
into a trio of bags?
Could my place in the world be so suddenly slashed
to a slice of sidewalk?
I decide, at last, to console her.
But when I circle the block,
she is gone.

Previously published in SHE OF THE RIB
Woman Unwrapped, CRM Press, Reprinted

No comments: