S.A. Leger

Blood turns ‘round


i. Ruth’s weather

windowpanes thick as sliced bread at the bottom. Not here, though. A cabin, someone’s rat nest in the cottonwoods. She seen melting windowpanes, knows linoleum-flooring curling palms closed at the edges. One room: bible-page walls insulated with mouse shit, newspaper corners tangled in sloughed epidermis + beagle hair stacked three inches high in the corners. Not here, though. Snowflakes, “feathery”; raindrops, compressed carbon embedded in ring fingers,

women at once-a-month club. Ruth don’t know a thing about reddened leakin’ eyes whipped slack jawed by wind. Don’t know nothin’ about throbbing fingernails with the mornin’

trapped inside ‘em

ii. Ruth’s skeleton

says she once read that mountains are held up by minerals. An endoskeleton of ossified god-meat. Says she never seen a flood like the one on 9 News. She better hope her brooks run smooth, clean. No logs in them, no invasive shellfish or leukemia cells. Maybe her blood turns ‘round one day, runs the other way. And she sees what happens in a wood when a tree falls on her own, realizes ain’t no trees at all save for 129 aspens she grazed [I’ve been tallying]

 iii. Ruth’s sons

become her beasts of burden. Prayers for them caught hitched in the sleeves of their own coats. On stage, they, murdered lambs at the altar. Walking around Main Street not knowing they dead

iv. Ruth’s grasp

129 trees, 129 words per minute. She ain’t said nothin’ yet

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S.A. Leger is a biologist and writer from Colorado. After studying zoology and English at Colorado State University, she spent time researching the flora and fauna of Tasmania, of the islands of Puget Sound during her masters, and for the last six years, of Newfoundland. Leger currently works as a biology lab professor at Memorial University.