Cathy Whittaker

Eleanor in the Garden

her father shouts
from his big-cushioned chair
Come here,
she doesn’t want to
his voice reminds her
of church bells
demanding her attendance.
he bawls again
the house reverberates.
She’s in his square garden
can hear the traffic passing
but the gate to the street
is locked.
She might have escaped
with Hugh the clerk in the office
but her father said
he wasn’t good enough,
and Eleanor crept mouse-like
round his words
Eleanor. Come. here. Now.
A megaphone of imperatives.
But she doesn’t go,
sits upright
in her rusty garden chair,
watches the blowsy rose petals fall
on the scorched grass.

Cathy has a sequence of 15 poems published in Quintet, Cinnamon Press. Her poems have appeared in Under the Radar, Prole, The Interpreters House, Envoi, Orbis, Ink Sweat and Tears, Southlight, Obsessed with Pipework, The Magnolia Review, Mslexia, and other magazines. She was shortlisted for the Bridport Prize and won the Southport Writers’ Competition, and placed second for the Welshpool Poetry CompetitionHer poems have been published in #MeToo A Women’s Poetry Anthology edited by Debra Alma and in Please Hear What I’m Not Saying edited by Isabelle Kenyon and in other anthologies.

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