issue 8prose poem

buffer

Kate Hargreaves

1. Unroll foxes, hares, and long-tailed birds from foliage in unintrusive neutrals. Mark with pencil, pattern repeat ensuring an excess of feathers and waste of feet.

2. Teeter on a stool with one loose leg. Fashion a plumb from a silver pendant and leftover holiday ribbon.

3. Reach crackling shoulders overhead & click. Press tacks into plaster. Warm thumbs. Hammer.

4. Join dot-to-dot; drop pencil. Paws swipe under door after feathers & fur.

5. Soak until sticky: collect ghosts & acorns in a cheap plastic tray.

6. Tug & shake waterlog loose. Risk splitting foxes & hares from their tails.

7. Press into shifting foundations. Trace the flight lines of squirrels. Uncover their nests.

8. Chase air pockets and clumps of fur from edges, damp blooms in reverse, cracking glue, drying feet.

9. Snap a new blade. Create only long cuts. Prune stems & flowers into neat borders. Resist overflow & rot.

10. Move strip-by-strip, matching hares to ears and buds to blooms.

11. Overlap flora & fauna. Dig dens under loose leaves. Seal in permanent sight lines. Buffer predators & prey.


Kate Hargreaves is the author of the poetry books tend (Bookhug, forthcoming Oct. 2022) and Leak (Bookhug 2014) as well as Jammer Star (Orca, 2019), a novel for young readers, and the short prose collection Talking Derby (Black Moss, 2014). She lives and works in Windsor, Ontario. Find her writing and work as a book designer at CorusKate.com.