Happy

for SG & the rest

“Who knows what women can be when they are finally free to be themselves?” – Betty Friedan

She almost had a son –
they don’t talk about him anymore.
They have two baby girls now,
blessings, gifts, two years apart.
They fill her time with feeds
and changes, tears and giggles;
they need her every moment,
as she twirls back and forth between
the walls of her still-sparkling house.
The diapers, soft and ironed, stacked
neatly – one day for laundry; rows
of fresh bottles boiled clean –
one day for sterilising.
Sterilising, not a surface left sticky
or muddy, no cause for alarm, no harm
will come to anyone within this frame.
She bakes, she sews the clothes, her husband
arrives home to a kiss and his supper.
At night she makes sure the hollow
space in her throat doesn’t fill with tears.
Each new morning she rises, fresh,
with the sun. She is happy.
Of course she is happy.
What else on earth could she be?


Kate Garrett was born thirtysomething years ago in Ohio, but has lived her entire adult life in the UK. She is a senior editor for the writers collective Pankhearst, and founding editor of Three Drops Press/Three Drops from a Cauldron. Her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and her latest poetry pamphlet, The Density of Salt, is forthcoming in 2016 from Indigo Dreams Publishing. She lives in Sheffield, England, with a man-poet, a Mimi-cat, and three clever trolls who call her “mum”.

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