Effigy – a poem by Kate Garrett


Smoke-cocooned in the sacral
end of the year
outside the back door
swaying in time
to the ale in my glass
I loop my cigarette
in the path of fire-blossoms
unfurling across
the almost-winter sky

friends have drifted
home to sleep
and dream of revolutions

alone in the rain-smouldered night
ancestral memories awaken
this unfamiliar stirring in my stomach—
like devotion branded treason
like gunpowder waiting to flash-bang-devour
like an uprising I am not leading

I can’t see the stars
he doesn’t believe in ghosts or me
I bide my time


Kate Garrett writes and edits. She is the author of six pamphlets, and her first full-length collection, The saint of milk and flames, is forthcoming in April 2019 from Rhythm & Bones Press. Kate lives in Sheffield, UK with her husband, five children, and a sleepy cat. www.kategarrettwrites.co.uk / twitter @mskateybelle

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