Later it all became clear to her,
how she had accidentally, as a child, swallowed a glass piano.
Therefore began to carry herself sideways, up and down the stairs,
the terror that she might fall, shatter or crack,
forever be holding her cracked shattered self.
Why a piano I wanted to ask?
Why not? Her voice shivered against the window,
the world is strange and alchemical, I was born into a furnace
then settled into a fragile transparency.
To possess such a thing, seen yet unseen, how else to make sense of it?
So she slept in straw, wore white, opaque, colourless, to deaden
or reflect the light, like snow, she was quiet in her movements,
avoided being touched, there was a vacancy in her gaze
when she looked out, yet within she felt unsettled,
constantly accommodating this otherness, a crescendo waiting to implode.
Louise Warren’s first collection A Child’s Last Picture Book of the Zoo won the Cinnamon First Collection Prize in 2012. In the scullery with John Keats was also published by Cinnamon in 2016. Her poems have appeared widely – Ambit, New Welsh Review, The Rialto, Poetry Wales and Stand. She was a winner in the Troubadour International Poetry Prize (2013 and 2015).