Roberta Senechal de la Roche | WASHED IN THE BLOOD


I would call you a wing,
but you might disappear into thin air,
when I am not ready, or cannot
say anything down to earth.

Already you are twirling
long dark hair behind your ear
around your right index finger, looking
outdoors at nothing in particular.

Thinking too much
where it starts and
where it finishes,
what it is for, or not.

When it is all in the moves,
what shakes, gets down
and dirty, but maybe
washed in the blood.

Can this really be bred in the bone,
what we put up with, taking
what is not ours, hands down
especially when no one is looking,

       and what we do, or not, as though
       we can’t bear it, the cut we want to make,
       even of our own, leaving someone
       else to stitch it all back together?

Small things must be at work here
inside, hidden, insensible
slow secret mouths whispering
the end of structure, unbalancing.

You once said you would die for the chance to,
then later said it was not that good;
one should know better
than to ask for more than others.

       A red bird flies from a lower branch.
       You turn and say the storm has torn
       all the ivy from the oak.


Author’s Bio

Roberta Senechal de la Roche is an historian of French
Canadian and Micmac descent and lives in the woods near Free Union, Virginia. Her poems have appeared in Colorado Review, Yemassee, Cold Mountain Review, and elsewhere. She recently published her first book of poems, Going Fast (David Robert Books).