Survivor Guilt – Kate Garrett

This scar was not my first, but it is evidence you were alive and we existed together on the day the blacktop burned through the soles of my shoes, as the wine bottle slipped from your fingers, frosted and fizzing, waiting a one-count before the blast. I lunged to pick it up for you, unaware of thermal stress, delayed reactions—

you saved my eight-year-old face with an outstretched arm but one clear meteorite collided with the flesh of my right calf, drew more blood than it should. Sometimes I consider how none of my lovers have known this scar exists and how it hurts me to remember family, to remember – out of nowhere – blood. Always more blood than we need.

And when the glass hit my skinny leg you cried. You cried because I tried to help you, then you tried to help me, and one of us still got hurt. That was always our story. I’ve carried this tiny flattened feature of my landscape over oceans, thirty years, the back and forth of trying to save each other – always missing by an inch, by a thousand miles.


By Kate Garrett.

Kate Garrett is the founding/managing editor of Three Drops from a Cauldron, Picaroon Poetry, and Bonnie’s Crew, and her own work is widely published – most recently or forthcoming in Atrium Poetry, Ghost City Review, Moonchild Magazine, formercactus, and others. She is the author of several chapbooks, the most recent – Land and Sea and Turning – was published by CWP Collective Press in August 2018. Born and raised in rural Southern Ohio, Kate moved to the UK in 1999, where she still lives in Sheffield with her husband, five children, and a sleepy cat. Twitter: @mskateybelle
Featured image © Pixabay/ alphanumericlogic
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