Sarah Wallis


It has ancient prayer in it, lifts us
to clarity and makes your body sing,

tracing bardic tradition tattooed upon
your scapular, triangulations

of the harp with the strings
redrawn on the white cast that covers

your arm, pain runs to your shoulder
twofold, and stops the harp singing

a morning stretch, up to the cathedral
but listen, the choir is in full song

and so listen… healing notes start to take
flight, an army of wings beating as one,

doves spiral up, up up and into the sunlight…
the wing shape drawing pay in blood

is finding the tear track through the triangle
with a hiccup, a wing with goosebumps

for travelling notes, as you shiver, or in sleep
forget, and fold out like a wing, stretch and

recover, the pain of the oldest instrument,
etched into bone, drawn out to sing in the skin

the gold of the strings oddly like sunlight
on skin, so that in plucking a chord, to sing out

like a hair from your raw skeined skin
the sun breaks through, a broken shoulder sings

a long sighing note, angelus in the morning.


Sarah Wallis is a poet and playwright based in Scotland, UK. In the last year work has appeared at Trampset, Lunate, Abridged and Finished Creatures, with recent work at Coffin Bell and One Art. A chapbook, Medusa Retold, is available from @fly_press and she tweets @wordweave.