He asks about her dress: the silver rib cage
chest, skeleton shrinking to a fishtail hip.
Never met a mermaid, he says
but he’s drawn one. He’s been trying to speak
to her since Piccadilly Gardens. She turns
to the window
and watches counties change. He pulls a sketch
from an A3 folder – here is familiar hair coiled
in charcoal and lavender
but the face is anyone: wild and tear-stained –
landlocked in Cheshire, beached, she flounders.
Sitting tall while she is dwindling.
Kate Garrett is a writer, mama, folk percussionist, and history, folklore, and heritage enthusiast (among other things). Her poetry is widely published, and has been nominated for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize. She is the author of six pamphlets and one collection, The saint of milk and flames (Rhythm & Bones Press, 2019). Born and raised in rural southern Ohio, Kate moved to the UK in 1999, where she still lives halfway up a hill in South Yorkshire.