Anna Saunders: “A New Skin”





A New Skin

She likes the room where they learn Biology, 
it is how she imagines the moon to look
up close – the clear white surfaces, the spectral light.

In the morning lesson she learns 
how the body rebuilds itself  
every 7 years or so, how old cells die 
and are replaced by new. A little like leaves
her teacher says, the old ones falling, 
fresh buds breaking out in spring. 

She loves the way they study the body in class, 
learn its rules, and possibilities.

School is a Safe Place 
and she likes the company of her peers, 
but even better she likes to be alone,
lying in bed, watching the moon, 
nothing, except her sheets touching her. 

To take her mind from memories of the men,
she thinks of what she learnt earlier – 
how the body sloughs off dead cells, and hair,
recreates itself. 

One day she thinks,
she will have a whole new body, 
one those men have never touched. 

The moon has tried to teach her this already,
Watch this, it says and each night 
goes into the darkness 
then comes out dazzling white again, as if reborn.



About the Author: Anna Saunders has been described as ‘a poet who surely can do anything’ by The North, ‘a modern myth maker’ by Paul Stephenson, and Tears in the Fence said of her ‘Anna Saunders’ poetry is reminiscent of Plath – with all its alpha achievement and radiance’.

She is the author of Communion, (Wild Conversations Press), Struck, (Pindrop Press) Kissing the She Bear, (Wild Conversations Press), Burne Jones and the Fox (Indigo Dreams), and Ghosting for Beginners, (Indigo Dreams).

Anna’s new book is Feverfew. (Indigo Dreams). The collection has been described as ‘rich with obsession, sensuousness and potency’ by Ben Ray, and as ‘a  beautiful and necessary collection’ by  Penny Shuttle.  Anna is currently working on The Prohibition of Touch – due out Summer 2022 with Indigo Dreams.

She is also the Executive Director of Cheltenham Poetry Festival and works as a creative writing tutor and mentor, communications specialist,  journalist, broadcaster and  copywriter/editor.


Image Credit: Ann Rosener “Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland. Student nurses learning anatomy” (1943) Library of Congress, Public Domain

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