Echo. Poetry by Ysella Sims


They watch the screen, punch-pleased, 
as the sonographer traces slow circles 
on her belly and the room dulls 
to a thick, cloistered hush.

In another room, smaller, colder, 
the world rends, roils 
beneath the blue plastic sofa 
while they wait for the midwife 
to tell them, it doesn’t look good.

In the weeks between, they lean 
against the cool bark of the witching tree 
on the heath, whisper pleas 
into its tessellations, 
stick stray feathers into the sand, 
to arrange their wishes, just so. 

And when it is time, she lies still,
             oh-so-still on the table
holds her breath,

Outside, a morning of crows, 
murdering the brumal air 
with clatter and chaws, 
the carnival flash of parakeets
at the Richmond window.

The scent of crab apples mustering on the 
Octobered heath as they reach home 
in the dark;
the jolt of her keening
when the door was closed.

Sun breaking through dank
in the gorse-crowned fields
to colour the sky sugared pink
starling egg blue;
the sweet heft
of a pear-sized ghost in her arms.

If you enjoyed Ysella Sims, you should read Pym Schaare

Ysella Sims is doing a Masters in Creative Writing at Plymouth University

About the contributor

Related Articles

Wild Quiet- Derek Kannemeyer

Derek Kannemeyer was born in Cape Town, South Africa, raised in London.

Poetry- Carla Scarano D’Antonio

Sailing North We left with cherry trees blossoming, people arranging polished horns in a window. Opposite to south Vegetation grew rusty, gold, scarlet red silver grey, brown. Inhaling thro, branches torn bare frozen. North: thorn,...

Anna Blasiak – Poetry

Anna Blasiak is a poet, translator and literature co-ordinator of the European Literature Network. She has translated over 40 books from English into Polish and some fiction and poetry from Polish into English. In addition to her book-length translations, her work has been published in Best European Fiction 2015, Asymptote, The Guardian, B O D Y Literature, Modern Poetry in Translation and York Literary Review. Anna writes poetry in Polish and in English (Off_Press, Women Online Writing, Exiled Ink and Modern Poetry in Translation). She has worked in museums and a radio station, run magazines, written on art, film and theatre.

More Like This

Summer Sestina and other poems by Caoimhe McKeogh

IT IS NOT THE TELEPHONE it is not the telephone it is the stove with its timer beeping in that never-ending way...

Dave Kavanagh chats to Kieran Devaney

Kieran Devaney has reported on and produced programmes around the world for TV am, Channel 4, ITN and Sky News in the United Kingdom, CNN in the United States

Sam Smith -Poetry

Another Pause among white tussocks a sun-doped song-thrushspreads her wings  /  and opens her feathers  /  to be ant-cleaned nearby shallow ponds and pools are alive...

Poetry from Penzance to Wales -Abigail Elizabeth Rowland (Ottley)

Confessions of a Circus Performer Poise is all - even when sleeping - there is memory in musculature. From girlhood onwards nights without ceasing I have fine-tuned my...

One Man’s Cliché

Hibah Shabkhez is a writer of the half-yo literary tradition