Kay by Louise Peterkin

Louise Peterkin is a poet who lives and works in Edinburgh. Her work has featured in publications such as New Writing Scotland, The Dark Horse, and The North. In 2016 she received a New Writers Award for Poetry from the Scottish Book Trust.

‘Kay’ is the little boy in the Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale who is kidnapped by the Snow Queen and taken to her ice palace. In this poem the Snow Queen addresses Kay and visits him as he sleeps.




I emboss your dreams with
diamonds, with corridors of ice,
and a soft frayed mile of white,

a see-through throne with a haar
around, a floor, a door
a long thin sliver of light.

Fortunate child, to you
I bestow an arch of stars,
delicate trappings,

the intricate spectre
of a shimmering
fountain suspended in motion.

You do not know me.
In sleep, you play in my fortress,
dragging your sleigh behind in a glitter trail.

After waking, you never tell
yet break from the crowd
to stare into the distance.

You shiver. I’m closer.
When I come for you,
you will hear bells.

You can reach Louise via email, louise.peterkin@ed.ac.uk. More of her work can be found here.