Haibun for a missing tree by Sarah Wallis

Poetry, Punk Noir Magazine



The girl who was under the tree, where is she? A beautiful girl I was chasing or was it a dream of me… she carried with her a rainbow bright umbrella and stopped, just for a moment, to twirl under the tree, some enchantment at work. Or was I cursed? Or was she? What was her name… oh I remember me now, that was the story of Daphne, and I was the Big Bad Wolf, the Bogeyman of old, and some busybody transformed her in the dazzling light of day to a green leafy shade, the height of a tree.


The people are in uproar and rue and have decided to miss the colour green. Who has stolen their green? Protector from wind and weather, the tall man in the corner, he who breathes… ahhhhh, a long exhale out, oxygenates the planet? Where is he? Something Surely Must Be Done? Oh I remember me now, the Big Bad came in the night, fought the good man who had stood on the corner for 300 years, before the corner ever was, unless some corner of an English field, somewhere forever time capsuled and pastoral (and she no longer exists, there is only this, only this…)


They fought a one-sided battle and they axed, axed, axed and he cracked like thunder, and they whipped like lightning and defeated the proud man of the last square foot of soil they allowed him. They stole him away like a child, with threats and grunts and noise in the night, and helpless, they fed him to the Big Bad Wolf, with the ‘what big teeth you have’ grin, and so it was that the chip, chip, chipper got hold of him.



world breathes suddener

than Daphnes taken, her Dad’s

three hundred green boughs.





Sarah Wallis is a poet and playwright based in Scotland, since moving from Yorkshire two years ago. She has two chapbooks out in the world at the moment, Medusa Retold, from @fly_press and Quietus Makes an Eerie from Dancing Girl Press, with How to Love the Hat Thrower due May 2022 from @SelcouthStation. She tweets @wordweave and you can find out more at sarahwallis.net
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