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2 poems by Kate Garrett

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.


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