Evening Class by Sheila Saunders



Sheila went from a working class home in St Helens, with the help of a State Scholarship, to St Anne’s College, Oxford, to read English Language and Literature. On graduation she worked on bi-weekly and evening papers, in Lancashire, Lincolnshire and Buckinghamshire.  After marriage to Peter, Wirral district reporter for the Liverpool Daily Post and Echo, she did freelance and feature writing while bringing up three children, and voluntary work with young people.  She has always enjoyed Merseyside’s rich concert, art and theatre scene, amateur music making, and coastal birding half a mile from her Hoylake home.  She has  become increasingly involved  in wildlife, community and environmental issues. Motivated by her daughter Anna, a published poet, she has started writing poetry herself, initially inspired by her love of natural history.    





















Evening Class









Lifeless, bleached legs hanging over the bench edge,

object of study, or pity.


Observe, he tells us

Wing structure, the distinctive crest,

-lifting the few reluctant feathers

with a finger,

black markings on a breast almost white.


Where now, the shotsilk plumage ,

green coalescing into purple ,

the determined stance, the luminous eye?


Once, the ploughed fields were greened with  plover,

the October sky chiaroscuro


with frantic, side-leaping, choreographed tumbles,


a deceit of lapwings

wailing for the end of their spring.



Sheila Saunders