The bricks housed phantoms;
the anachronistic soda counter
I now recall in a haze of decades
and miles as solid, yet of its time
and the man running the shop still
slicked his grey hair Brylcreem smooth.
Some villages never catch up.
The drugstore was plastic and rounded
and faded and chrome, Americana buried
just for me, so I could uncover
its message one morning—
the new kid with bony shoulders grandma
folded into floral sundresses I wanted to love,
relics of a childhood that wasn’t mine.
But I know we each spent our time huddled
and waiting for progress, or nuclear winter,
nursing fears we couldn’t name, hiding
in cellars from the first sign of a black sky.
Kate Garrett is a writer, mother, editor, wife, history buff, and amateur folklorist. Her work is published here and there online and in print, and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her most recent books are The Density of Salt (Indigo Dreams Publishing, 2016) – which was longlisted for best pamphlet in the 2016 Saboteur Awards – and Deadly, Delicate (Picaroon Poetry, 2016). Her next pamphlet, You’ve never seen a doomsday like it, will be published in 2017 by Indigo Dreams. Kate lives in Sheffield with her husband, four children, and a cat named Mimi.