Red Umbrella

They say I leave at night
by the window of my tower,
hanging from a red umbrella…

I use it, they say, to set
fire to the forest. Descend
down a hope that colors

my life forever, my fate
seen only from afar.
From the ashes of a forest

come morels. From the ashes
of a hearth, a garden. From
the ashes of a fable—what?

They say a phoenix rises.
My hat slips down my face,
my hands in my lap, useless.


Contributor’s Notes: Kathleen Kirk is the author of four poetry chapbooks, most recently Nocturnes (Hyacinth Girl Press, 2012).  Her work has appeared previously in Fickle Muses, and in a variety of other print and online journals, including Arsenic LobsterGlasschordMenacing Hedge, Poetry East, and Redheaded Stepchild. She is the poetry editor for Escape Into Life.  “Sakuntala” and “Red Umbrella” are from a set of poems in the voice of sculptor Camille Claudel, commissioned by Columbus Dance Theatre for Claudel, with performances January 24-25, 2014.