Poetry Thursday: Kate Miller

At the Dew Pond, West Dale

from Kate Miller’s first collection, The Observances (Oxford, Carcanet Press)

The boys have caught the sun
and cross the field with their loot
striding barefoot on cropped grass,
surf-boards like shields held triumphal
four crowns laurelled by the cliff-edge light.
The sea’s a wily dog who tugs them back:
swinging to face its pull they stall, lose all
sense of being watched.
A tiny snake
weaves through the cool purée of pond,
black-buttoned in its shift of greenness.
First time we’ve ever seen one
here, long evenings waiting for our young —
who happen on us suddenly as men.


Kate Miller grew up in Hampshire and now lives in London. She studied Art History at King’s College, Cambridge, and Fine Art at Central St. Martin’s College of Art and Design, London.


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