Roberta Senechal de la Roche 


Small Change 

for Katherine

This is the edge
where we might turn,

Crows behind us, waiting
still in dull black suits.

I appreciate their formality, 
anticipate the sound of wings.

My face I kept up so long
and memorized so carefully,

I give it all back now.
Take my naked bones instead,

Break them with your empty word,
Lick them with your artless tongue.

For ransom, anything,
except the voice, going sotto voce.


Late Heron

Still in water edged with ice,
a hieroglyph that conjugates
pond and stubble field with sky.

He should be gone by now,
before the winter closes shut
its crystal door.

One last bit of sport, perhaps
one last try to pin down
something deep below.

Give us now the single question
that can stand only on one leg
even in an age of snow.



Roberta Senechal de la Roche was born in western Maine and raised in upstate New York. She graduated from the University of Southern Maine and the University of Virginia, where she received a doctoral degree in history.  Currently Professor of History at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia, she lives in the woods outside of Charlottesville near the Blue Ridge Mountains. 


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