Jennifer LeBlanc is currently pursuing an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Lesley University. Her collection, Coloring the Shadows, won the Mary C. Bryan Women’s Studies Award for 2009, and Cervena Barva Press published her chapbook, Unrestrained (2009). She enjoys reading feminist poetry and dramatic monologues.
The first wake I attended alone—
the road there honed to a concentrated line.
I ran the instructions through my mind—
arrive on time, do not smile, offer condolences.
I passed the unfamiliar line
to meet the woman I know, tried
not to notice the sharp bones
of the narrow nose and tapered fingers
on the deceased. At home,
I denied my figure— I am
concerns and words, nothing of flesh—
thought, What does reverence
of the body matter in absence