The Last Train - Roberta Senechal de la Roche

Two days before the Sabbath
we saw you had lost your shadow.
Now angels flap plucked wings and curse
on street corners and subways
and a white horse with iron hooves
walks the howling city, slow
unbound, inarticulate, eye on the cosmos
searching for a rider to take up its reins.

If you ever touch the wind
that takes the last of leaves in fall,
you might conclude
that night is your best friend
that steel rails might
be your salvation after all broke
under weights of cold
or lights turned up too fast, too bright.

            Your breath is fire
            I am ash, you are
            the elements that suffuse
            ice and blood
            the deer, the swallows, stars
            that you let us see,
            just when we need them
            just before the last train leaves.

Roberta Senechal de la Roche is an historian and poet of Miꞌkmaq and French-Canadian descent, born in western Maine.  She now lives in the woods outside of Charlottesville, Virginia. Her poems have appeared in the Colorado Review; Vallum; Glass: A Journal of Poetry; Yemassee; Blue Mountain Review; Sequestrum; Catamaran Literary Reader; and Cold Mountain Review, among others. She has two prize-winning chapbooks: Blind Flowers (Arcadia Press) and After Eden (Heartland Review Press, 2019).  A third chapbook, Winter Light, and her first book, Going Fast (2019) are published by David Robert Books.