Autumn Sky Poetry . . . Number 19 . . .

Monet to his Wife, While Winding the Sheets

     by Kristin Roedell
     after Claude Monet’s “Camille on Her Deathbed.” 1879. Oil on canvas. Musée d'Orsay, Paris, France.

I’ve seen life leaving small things:

a tabby cat,

a red winged bird;

once I held a dog I loved

as breath grew shallow and rare.

But you, Camille, are a complicated thing.

I think of clocks, of coils and gears

and springs and hands;

I think of time and ticking

and how your fingers

were light, precise, and small.

This morning you lay veiled and absent.

I painted you a final time;

Camille, you fled

and took with you every hue.

What remains is as simple

as a broken bird,

as a clock run down.

What remains

are these dark and

flightless hours.


Kristin Roedell is a Northwest poet and retired attorney. Selected poetry appears in Switched on Gutenberg, Damselfly Press, Flutter, Soundings Review, City Arts, Ekphrasis, Eclectica, Cliterature, Open Minds Quarterly, Touch: a Journal of Healing (Editor’s choice, September 2010), Puffin Circus, Chantarelle’s Notebook, The Fertile Source, Four and Twenty, Quill and Parchment, (featured poet January 2010) Pilgrimage, Soundings Review, Voice Catcher Anthology, and Breath and Shadow. Other poems will appear in Chest, Frost Writing, Ginosko, and Seeding the Snow. Her chapbook Seeing in the Dark was published in 2009 by Tomato Can Press.

“Monet to his Wife, While Winding the Sheets” first appeared in Ekphrasis Journal.


© 2010 Kristin Roedell