Sarah Doyle

 

 

 

Snowdrift

From solitude to servitude
I went: a stepmother’s bane,
to maid-of-all-work for
grubby curmudgeons.

dust     sweep     scrub     sleep

How the chores call to me,
a broom-brush song that bristles
at my hearing’s edge. How
grudgingly I dance the steps.

dust     sweep     scrub     sleep

Sanctuary is overrated. I am
the apple of no-one’s eye:
captive of the castle’s keep
turned kept woman, a pet.

dust     sweep     scrub     sleep

See me, all scour and wash,
high-born-sunk-low, the sour
taste of charity on my tongue,
a gratitude for subterfuge.

dust     sweep     scrub     sleep

Don’t answer the door, don’t
answer the door. A bodice, a
comb, a fruit – how strange
that danger erupts like a flower.

dust     sweep     scrub     sleep

Ghosting to translucence, I am
drift and dream, I am brittle
and bottled, the stillness of
death a respite from

dust     sweep     scrub     sleep

How reluctant the fruit – flesh,
skin, pips – to leave my lips.
Shaken awake to another rescue,
I rise, and am bitter to the core.

 

 

Sarah Doyle is widely placed and published. In 2019 she won the WoLF poetry competition and Holland Park Press’s Brexit in Poetry, and was runner-up in the Keats-Shelley Poetry Prize. She was highly commended in the Forward Prizes 2018. Sarah is currently researching a PhD in the poetics of meteorology at Birmingham City University.

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