Monday, October 6, 2014

Late October by Dorianne Laux

Red leaves in the Louisiana Swamp

I am this woman, have been this woman, will probably always be this woman...

Late October
By Dorianne Laux

Midnight.  The cats under the open window,
their guttural, territorial yowls.

Crouched in the neighbor's driveway with a broom,
I jab at them with the bristle end,

chasing their raised tails as they scramble
from bush to bush, intent on killing each other.

I shout and kick until they finally
give it up; one shimmies beneath the fence,

the other under a car.  I stand in my underwear
in the trembling quiet, remembering my dream.

Something had been stolen from me, valueless
and irreplaceable.  Grease and grass blades

were stuck to the bottoms of my feet.
I was shaking and sweating.  I had wanted

to kill them.  The moon was a white dinner plate
broken exactly in half.  I saw myself as I was:

forty-one years old, standing on a slab
of cold concrete, a broom handle slipping

from my hands, my breasts bare, my hair
on end, afraid of what I might do next.

From:  "What We Carry", page 11


Nothing [everything] left to say, the poem says it all.  xo


Kelly said...

Wow, this is a powerful poem! I thought I might have something of hers on my shelf, but unless it's in an anthology, no.... mine skip from Kooser to Leax.

The photograph is lovely, Marion. I think summer has given up.

Marion said...

Kelly, you'd enjoy her book "What We Carry". It's overflowing with great poems. xo

erin said...

i knew i knew this! and i was pretty darned sure i knew it through you. and i did! you posted this poem last fall:) i thought i was nuts until i searched and found it on your blog. and yup, still looks like you;)

it's so good to know your leaves change as they do. tonight i ran through the woods just as the sun was setting and everything was active. i saw three raccoons, two deer and a grouse. it was awesome. and the leaves! oh, the leaves, marion! my favorite time of year! (well, winter is pretty friggen awesome as well.)


Marion said...

This is my favorite October poem, Erin, so I rerun it. It's just sooooo me and I love the witch imagery I see at the end. Oh, how I'd love to see your leaves up there in Canada. We get a week or two of color changes, but most of our trees are evergreens. I love them all, but the reds and yellows really amaze me. Love to you, Happy Girl. xo

Jonathan Chant said...

Gorgeous poem and photo. Very nice.

quid said...

This poem cuts like a knife. Makes you think you were there. So beautiful.