ALA 01

By Amanda Auchter

                                                 She said
          don’t wash it, when asked

                   if she wanted to change, to take off

                                                 the wool skirt, the blue

                   lined jacket. I want them to see,

          she said. Kid gloves, a blood bloom

                                    on her wrist,
                                                 stockings. Swipe of hair

                                    across her mouth.
          In the car, she remembers

                                    a scatter of yellow

                            roses, black birds rising
                            from the Live Oak. How the children

                                    ran alongside as they drove past, waving.

          The open windows. A man with a camera,

                                                      an umbrella
                                    that opened. A raincoat. In the car,

                                                 her body covered with bone,

                                    hair. The bright pink suit against the gray
November. And all that red inside her hands.

(Today’s poem originally appeared in Rattle , and appears here today with permission from the poet.)

Amanda Auchter is the founding editor of Pebble Lake Review and the author of The Wishing Tomb, winner of the 2012 Perugia Press Award, and of The Glass Crib, winner of the 2010 Zone 3 Press First Book Award for Poetry. She holds an MFA from Bennington College and teaches creative writing and literature at Lone Star College. She is currently at work on a memoir about adoption and the foster care system, What Took You So Long.

Editor’s Note: There is a certain ease in the presentation of today’s subject matter that makes the devastation somehow more powerful. A softness in the notion of “The bright pink suit against the gray / November” that at once heightens and dulls the impact of the poem’s final blow. It is as if the poem is a grenade exploding flowers.

Want to read more by and about Amanda Auchter?
Author Website
Author Blog
Pebble Lake Review

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