S K Grout

hoping to keep upright

there are still pecks of footprints in the snow. I listen
to the chime of little kings, flitting from branch to branch,

exiled from their kingdoms and braising their blood to keep warm.
the world is wrapped in November knitting, with enough holes

to implicate the wind. the sun stays elevated and, remotely, presents
its brightness for account. far away, it composes love songs to another:

the other side of the world. there, it rains and rains like a brand
new conversation between long lost companions. the expectant

fold of the evening creeps along my arm, chilled at the tips
and heading for my heart, swallowing the lie that electricity will

overcome this loneliness. I learn the notes to the frail tune,
surrounded by the caution of half-light

S K Grout (she/they) grew up in Aotearoa/New Zealand, has lived in Germany, and now splits her time as best she can between London and Auckland. She is the author of the micro chapbook to be female is to be interrogated (2018, the poetry annals). She holds a post-graduate degree in creative writing from City, University of London and is a Feedback Editor for Tinderbox Poetry. Her work also appears in Cordite Poetry Review, trampset, Banshee Lit, Parentheses Journal, Barren Magazine and elsewhere. More information here: skgroutpoetry

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Winter 2021