A Poem by Kate Fetherston

Kate Fetherston

Kate Fetherston

Kate Fetherston is an artist and poet living in Montpelier, Vermont. Kate’s first book of poems, Until Nothing More Can Break, was released in 2012. Her poems and essays in numerous journals including North American Review, Hunger Mountain, and Third Coast. Kate’s received grants from the Vermont Council on the Arts and Vermont Studio Center. Her art is an intuitive interpretation of the visual world explored through color, texture, and layering. Kate’s shown in Vermont and California and her work is in private collections around the country.


Fingering beads the color
of the living, stringing one after another

on fishing line, she angles beneath waves I can’t
fathom. Coffee table covered in unpaid bills, cigarettes,

pills. Hallway blocked with garbage, November’s
the thin time when doors between worlds dangle

ajar by a single unthreaded hinge. She’s slipping in
and out of her life, doesn’t want to stay

here. What are ghosts but
light with nowhere to go? She’s slicing

the minutes fine and finer still, razors each
membrane like a window, each bad decision another

detour. Vermillion and turquoise faceted
beads from Africa hide in the carpet among crusts

of week old Chinese takeout. Oxys
and heroin in their little packets line her childhood

jewelry box. Outside, gunmetal
hills turn their old backs away. The only road out

of this town’s blocked off. Construction.
Delays. The busted bridge’s a shambles of rusty

needles sticking out of a black river. Stay Out! Danger! claims
the sign at water’s edge. She figures that doesn’t

mean her. I’m afraid for you. I whisper over
and over. Any day now, sunlight

could warm her again, could bring her back. Any
day now she could stop. Any day could stop