Poems by Victoria LeBlanc


Swallow’s wing    dismembered   
mud-slick among the rushes

I pick you up

limp rag of feathers    blue-black flattened vanes
bound to broken forelimbs   

            arm    fused wrist    hand    three fingers

hollow origami bones   

weight    one ounce

you    passerine    long distant migrant
hugging the coast to South America

                                    back in May   

I bury your wing in the dark cello nest of earth


Afternoon in winter

Raw umber    no other colour

you lay it on the white paper
with a fine brush
and it streams down slowly   
staining the white

the white is of snow
that day by the river   
the umber is of reeds locked in ice          
no stirring    
no wind even

            you must capture this

how you felt    standing by the river
in the winter 
how you crouched among the stalks
how the reeds towered   
how their frayed dried heads bowed   
and bent in the cold   
and how the sky was grey 
and how     
in the white snow under the reeds
you lay your body down
as on a bed    
as in
a shelter      

and cried for beauty
and death.

VICTORIA LEBLANC is a writer, artist, and curator. Contributor to over 40 publications on Canadian artists.  In 2019, she published her first collection of poetry, Hold.  Forthcoming: Mudlark.As a visual artist, she has participated in solo and group exhibitions across Canada.  Former Director of the Visual Arts Centre and McClure Gallery (1996-2017). Curator of City of Westmount Gallery since 1998.

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