Kate Garrett

SHADOWS

They follow me outside, faces featureless, limbs
long, leaving their cobwebbed corner to feed.

I carry their rucksack of dread into a blue-sky day
relieving these black-hole creatures of their burden

and making it mine. They’ve placed their world
on my shoulders, convinced me it lends balance

to the universe during a sleepless pre-dawn hour.
And I believed them, my treacle limbs and jellied

mind too tired to argue. But I know their weakness
and their fear – the scent of human blood. Wouldn’t

want to take it too far, they seem to say, a tremor
in the void of their bodies – the solidity of ours

too much for them, the promise of wrenching
rasping pain is a fear they will not name. A dance

through the dusk, they edge away – the snarl, the stab
held in my folded hands ticks down the rosebud hours.

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