My Cart 


The Attic Fan
Nancy Scott


The summer I was ten, Dad installed an attic fan.
It churned hot air endlessly, no hope to outwit

humidity that drenched the sheets and tossed our sleep.
At night, I’d lie in bed and fist the pillows tight

against my ears. I couldn’t stop the racket of the fan.
Fearing the brute might suck me in, then upchuck

my fingers one by one, maybe an ear or slice of skin,
I never went into the attic, unlike my brother,

who picked off street lamps with Dad’s shotgun
and nailed limp squirrels to the woodshed’s eaves.

Rickey climbed up the wobbly steps, then raced down,
sheet-white, and refused to tell me what he’d seen.

We begged Dad to buy an air conditioner, but he stood
firm. After he left for work, we tossed the monster

dust rags, wood scraps, a headless doll, plastic dishes.
It scarfed them up and carried on.

Years later, when Dad sold the house, he bragged,
That old fan works like a charm.

From Midwestern Memories (Aldrich Press, 2013).
Used here with permission.


Nancy Scott is an author and artist who lives near Princeton, New Jersey. A retired social worker and past managing editor of U.S. 1 Worksheets, she started writing poetry in the mid-‘90s, hoping her work would eventually be published; she is now the author of more than a dozen books--novels, poetry, and short stories. Nancy's latest poetry collection, A Little Excitement, has been named "first choice for summer 2021 reading" by North of Oxford. Her art is frequently hung in juried shows and, sometimes, her poetry and art are featured together.



Post New Comment:
Love this!!!
Posted 08/11/2023 01:57 PM
Lori Levy:
Scary fan, but great poem!
Posted 08/10/2023 08:23 PM
Sharon Waller Knutson:
I was pleased to wake up to a Nancy Scott poem. I have missed her wit and wisdom. My favorite line was the punchline: Years later, when Dad sold the house, he bragged, That old fan works like a charm.
Posted 08/10/2023 10:06 AM
Wilda Morris:
Fun poem. I shared a bedroom in a hot attic as a child, so I can identify with much of this.
Posted 08/10/2023 10:05 AM
Very different and very good.
Posted 08/10/2023 09:35 AM
Nostalgia at its vividly descriptive best! We didn't have an attic, but I remember window fans.
Posted 08/10/2023 09:18 AM

Contents of this web site and all original text and images therein are copyright © by Your Daily Poem. All rights reserved.
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Purchasing books through any poet's Amazon links helps to support Your Daily Poem.
The material on this site may not be copied, reproduced, downloaded, distributed, transmitted, stored, altered, adapted,
or otherwise used in any way without the express written permission of the owner.