Trich. Triggers. +1 more, by Sara Louise Wheeler

Triggered at first by depigmentation,
later continued with general distress;
somehow it took on a new dimension.

Teenaged focus on self-presentation,
declared salt and pepper to be a mess;
triggered at first by depigmentation.

And despite having made the connection,
to the syndrome, I could not do it less;
somehow it took on a new dimension.

And even when I achieved illusion,
reversing follicles like drafts and chess;
triggered at first by depigmentation.

Later still, in my troubled confusion –
toxic emotions I couldn’t express;
Somehow it took on a new dimension.

All these years later, my conclusion?
Though it is really just an informed guess:
Triggered at first by depigmentation,
somehow it took on a new dimension.

* I have abbreviated ‘Trichotillomania’ to ‘trich’.

In between the roast potatoes.
Between the parboiling,
drying in the sieve,

roasting in goose fat,
as the beef gently browns –

I am writing; freed by
the finite time afforded

and the clarity of thought
a whole day did not bring.

Dr Sara Louise Wheeler has Waardenburg Syndrome Type 1, and she is exploring all aspects of her embodied experiences through a variety of creative mediums. She is currently writing a Deafhearing opera-ballet called Y Dywysoges Arian (The Silver Princess), funded by Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru. Sara is also preparing a bilingual poetry collection called Confylsiwn/ Convulsion, reflecting on the lasting impact of her febrile convulsions. Sara is a Visiting Research Fellow at Wrexham Glynd┼Ár University; her research interests include popular culture, translanguaging, cynghanedd and sign language poetry. She writes the column O’r Gororau (from the borders) for Barddas Welsh poetry magazine.

Sara writes in Welsh and in English. To date she has published one collection of poetry in Welsh, one bilingual poetry and art pamphlet, and one bilingual collection/ scrapbook of poetry and art from her time as 'Bardd y mis' (poet of the month) for BBC Radio Cymru and Barddas magazine in January 2021. These can all be downloaded as PDFs for free from the following website: