A quietening of spirits
A reaching treescape carries you up to the little
house, bare branches scraping fingers at your
shoulders. This November is your own reflection.
Here are liquid jewels in a short glass; one sip
lets the light in, breaks the gloom. The tickle
and smoulder in your chest, an inside-out embrace
– danger is again a distant memory, anger calmed –
prepared, patient – a bright and knowing fly agaric
on the forest floor. This is your offering to noisy
ghosts, gifts for the imp who makes her home inside
your heart – whiskey and rain clear the border
path, steer cold fingertips from autumn to winter.
It’s nine feet tall and too much for itself—full of beetles
and butterflies, a holiday home for snails, blank canvas
for spiders. When I step inside the buddleia’s shade,
blossoms kiss my nose and chin, tap my shoulders, a lace
of stems reach out to clasp my fingers in thanks. I weave
my own spindle arms through the branches, deft shears
nick and snip. When I emerge, wayward boughs cut back,
the treetop dropped down to the height of a lover. I look
up and we understand each other. Evening is still sleeping
at the far end of my garden; next year’s flowers will be sweet.
Kate Garrett writes and edits. Her poetry is widely published, and has been nominated for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize, and longlisted for a Saboteur Award. Born in rural southern Ohio, Kate moved to England in 1999, where she still lives in Sheffield with her husband, children, and a cat.