On this blue hill things grow unbidden:

lupine, ash, the mountain laurel

a bowl of red wine to throw on the dirt,

though nothing appears to you

no voices out of thin air,

and you never got to do her.


Hands on the wheel, tight now,

like your lips when you sailed off

in a silver pickup, raising waves of red dust

turning roadside honeysuckle blush pink

until the next rain that erases

all your tracks and traces.


Or sleeveless, inside out, on a porch swing

somewhere flexing your song

ready to hit any bird that shows

on the ridgeline, sweating through

the sting of ink that will not flow,

a down-home Apollo with a quiver

full of broken arrows,

slack-string lyre, tongue tied,

almost mortal. 


Roberta Senechal de la Roche teaches at Washington and Lee University and lives in the woods near Free Union, Virginia. Her poems have appeared in Vallum, Front Porch Review, Colorado Review, Yemassee, Cold Mountain Review, and elsewhere. She is finishing a volume of poems called Going Fast.