Quietus Makes an Eerie | Sarah Wallis

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Sarah Wallis is a poet and playwright, based in Scotland, UK, since moving from Yorkshire in 2019. Theatrical residencies include Leeds Playhouse and Harrogate Theatre, as well as work for Leeds Fringe. Recent work is on the Fly on the Wall You Tube Channel with Orpheus as a Fish, and a trailer for her forthcoming play Laridae on Vimeo. Fly on the Wall Press published her first chapbook Medusa Retold, a long form narrative poem from Medusa’s point of view in December 2020. Other publishing highlights include The Yorkshire Poetry Anthology from Valley Press, Eyewear’s Best New British & Irish Poets 2018 and online journals Trampset, Pidgeonholes, Lunate and The Interpreter’s House. 



Poet & Fox

That other poet to whom
and, for whom, you are always writing
that poem (it’s never finished,)

that grand old nature poet,
reputation tinctured with tarnish, he who
first spoke of the fox, or did he

but, well, he doesn’t own the red thread
in the night, my scarlet haired vixen, her
eyes all beacon brights, stopped for a moment,

nose in the air, sensing, communion?
But he steals a march on my peace
(I’d give him a piece of my mind)

like the fox, cautious and weighing
up danger before resuming a swift trot
over the black moon slicked road

all salt liquorice, all secret society, roaming
home, searching on until the end of love
past the shift workers night bus

all redhead, all right, the fox is about
and prowling the night, and then the poem
changes into something else, not a picture

of your scorn or sadness but when
the pressure in your heart shifts,
the poem shifts too, and when she

is no longer there, with her fathomless,
cavernous dark eyes shining up and out
of the night the poem will remain, a reminder,

though in flux, of the fox, it will always
come back, changed, simplified. Maybe,
even stronger.

(Did you ever think about that?)