by Roberta Senechal de la Roche Issue: Fall 2016 Special Issue on Forests
The wind topped the oak last night
its crown too high and heavy
for a lowering sky. 

My father walked clockwise
once around the broken trunk
fingertips on bark.
Taking the measure, I thought,
how many cords.

Only later did I see
something native there
go out in circles
now the smoke
has spent it.

Roberta Senechal de la Roche

Roberta Senechal de la Roche is an American historian, sociologist, and poet of French Canadian and Micmac Indian descent, and was born in western Maine. She now lives in the woods outside of Charlottesville near the Blue Ridge Mountains. She graduated from the University of Southern Maine and the University of Virginia, and is Professor of History at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia. Her poems have appeared in The Colorado Review; Literary Juice; Still: The Journal; the Front Porch Review; Glass: A Journal of Poetry, and The Big River Review. Her poems also were selected for and published in the 2011 and 2015 Montreal International Poetry Prize Longlist.