“The Violet Room” by Rachel Contreni Flynn

Rachel Contreni Flynn


Small bird in the rafters.

Book buried in the hay bales.

Harness rotting at the door.

The days after my daughter’s birth
I spent reading Hemingway in bed.

Black flies roosted at the screens
and the afternoons were bright: silence

blasted in and I held still in the violet room
at the edge of town. If there was damage,

I curled away from it. If there were words,
I buried them. My flesh was sheepskin,

in the service of another. Night came
as crying, quiet as breath. I quit the book

when the old man failed to cut down
the stars with his capable hands.

from Rattle #23, Summer 2005
Tribute to Lawyer Poets

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