Return – Kathy Butterworth

Summer kitchen – Jacek Yerka

In his 45th year
he quit alcohol and women
and went home to his wife

who rested in her kitchen
of drying herbs,
a cup of tea in front of her.

He sat down and
she offered him a cup.
He watched her at the stove

fussing over the kettle
in that way she’d had
since they were nineteen

not even trying to leave
the house. He knew
he’d stopped seeing her long ago

and that for many years
he’d been blinded
and she’d continued

baking and gardening
and growing their children
into swans.

I could cut you
a slice of bread, she offered,
there’s butter.


About the Poet

Kathy Butterworth’s poems have appeared in The Aurorean, Avocet, Common Ground, Snowy Egret and From the Farther Shore anthology (2021). She has been a member of Moors Poetry Collective since 2012 and her poems have appeared in their four publications, Poems So Far, Lemon Humus and Other Stories, Tips on Throwing a Housewarming Party in a Small Space, and The Title is Elusive.

For the first time in nearly five years, Vita Brevis is closed for submission. Read the full story here.

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