Once more with feeling by Kate Garrett

Once more with feeling

I’m exactly where they expect
me to be, but hope I’m not.

Alone inside the glass at quarter
past midnight, I turn to the creaking of the door.

The others push her into darkness,
I hear giggles, gasps, see a torch burning cold.

I’m the bad news they wouldn’t want
for themselves, but don’t mind telling.

Inevitably, they call me Mary, the only name
left of the many. I stare at the girl, who gazes

into her painted reflection, eyes big and blue.
She’s a plastic doll. They don’t make children

like they used to. She utters
two words, six times, stops, lip twitching.

My own face has been hidden for years, stuck in here.
Say them, I whisper, once more is all it takes.


(originally published in The names of things unseen, in Caboodle from Prolebooks.)


Kate Garrett was born thirtysomething years ago in southwestern Ohio, but has called England home since 1999. Her work has been published here and there, and her first pamphlet ‘The names of things unseen’ is part of Caboodle, a six-poet collection from Prolebooks (February 2015). She is a 2016 Pushcart Prize nominee, and the editor of the Slim Volume anthology series, published by Pankhearst. She lives in Sheffield with a man-poet, three trolls, and a cat, and would not-so-secretly rather be a pirate.


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