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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 11: January 2022
Poem: 128 words
By Sarah Carleton


She comes out of the sun in a silk dress running
Like a watercolour in the rain...
—Al Stewart, “Year of the Cat”
That summer’s hit, with its cloying melody and saxophone 
like a woozy mosquito, I buried in the midden 
to be processed by earworms, 

but the song left a residue—I was cycling alone 
on the shoulder of a New Hampshire highway 
to my classmate’s house in the trees, where the newly dug pond 

was partway full and fully muddy. 
We did not go deep into our friendship but dog paddled 
the surface, stirring up the smell of pine and lotion and the jab 

of stones on bare teenage feet as lyrics leaked from a radio, 
silk dresses and lost tickets floating above us 
just out of reach like garish lures. 



Publisher’s Note:

Epigraph is from a song co-written by Scottish folk-rock singer Al Stewart and pianist Peter Wood, the title song of Stewart’s seventh studio album, Year of the Cat.

Sarah Carleton
Issue 11, January 2022

writes poetry, edits fiction, plays the banjo, and makes her husband laugh in Tampa, Florida. Her poems have appeared in numerous publications, including Nimrod, Chattahoochee Review, Tar River Poetry, Crab Orchard Review, Pirene’s Fountain, Valparaiso Poetry Review, and New Ohio Review. Her first collection, Notes from the Girl Cave, was published in 2020 by Kelsay Books.

Author’s website: https://sarahcarleton.com

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