After the Class by Sarah Wallis

The life class is over 
and I am washing my brushes, 

first the Nudes, Golds and Ochres, 
then the red of Carmine runs out 

the sink, is replaced with Prussian Blue 
sustained with Manganese 

Lemon, Payne’s Gray
and now Green, the stained glass window 

effect in the white china basin, a streak 
of silky rainbow. 

The life class is lifting around me, people are 
leaving, while paint laden water spirals 

the drain. In another life we might be friends 
but this is a strain of delicate work 

and the sitter’s patience is exhausted, she wants 
to be gone like the light, not stopping to look 

at what our looking has achieved of her, 
she is still unclothed and the artists’ focus begins 

to waiver, catching a glimpse of her breasts 
in full blush, they stumble over easel and inkwell 

she raises a tired smile, like mother 
to child, and receives a scarlet chorus of farewell.


About the Author

Sarah Wallis is a poet & playwright based in Scotland. She has an MA in Creative Writing from UEA and an Mphil in Playwriting from Birmingham University. Recent work has appeared in Lunate, Idle Ink, Tiny Seed, Crepe & Penn, Selcouth Station and Finished Creatures. A monologue, A Stage of One’s Own streamed by Slackline Cyberstories during lockdown, was first performed at Leeds Lit Fest 2019. A chapbook, Medusa Retold, is due from Fly on the Wall Press Dec 2020.