the madrigal, volume ii
The Breath Not Taken
by sarah wallis
We are brought back to death,
we that have been so far removed
from it, we have forgotten how it
can happen so easily, the fragile
casing, broken, all that can go
wrong, the one breath,
in a moment,
and yet, still, we fail
to believe in that moment.
The Death Mask of Keats,
a beautiful man, looks as if he
is merely held in light, asleep,
and sleeping peaceful slumber.
My father did not look asleep,
he was cold and gone, where in life
his quick wit and movements – V signs
flicked and that devilish smile - devastated,
and he’s been gone for quite a while.
Sarah Wallis is a poet and playwright based in Scotland, UK. Recent work is at Trampset, Lunate and Abridged (Nyx issue) online and in print journals Finished Creatures (Stranger issue) and The Alchemy Spoon (Metal issue). A chapbook, Medusa Retold, is available from @fly_press and she tweets @wordweave.