Siren – Kate Garrett

Siren

(for Rachel Wall)

Tears in her voice skip
stones across the waves
from a schooner ripped
like a harpooned shark,
the sails limp fins,
this woman pale and screaming
begs: please help me stay afloat.
I’m all alone out here.

All alone. Poor thing,
she cries a prophecy
before you meet your end,
before her hidden men
scream scrambling over the railings
of your vessel—

They’re all dead,
dead, no survivors;
it’s nothing but a ghost ship now.

 

Rachel Wall was an American pirate active off the coast of Massachusetts at the end of the 18th century. She worked with her husband George Wall and their crew, pretending to be the sole survivor of a shipwreck, so that when other boats came to her aid, the Walls and their men would attack and kill the crew, taking the ship’s cargo for their own.

This poem is also published in Kate’s pamphlet, Deadly, Delicate (Picaroon Poetry, 2016).

Kate Garrett’s poetry has been widely published, nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and longlisted for a 2016 Saboteur Award. However, while her poetry is busy doing stuff, Kate bums around reading books and hanging out with her children. Stalk her on Twitter at @mskateybelle.

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