Mudlark No. 61 (2017)

Bone Gathering

It’s harder for those taken suddenly,
the bones crushed by accident or blows.
But even those who are cremated are not doomed
to walk forever without the comfort of bone
in foot or wrist. After death, after a time that is no time					
when you’re nothing but memories letting go,
a whiteness as in blossoms letting go,
you find yourself in a green field. 

I say find yourself though obviously 
this is not like coming upon 
a box of buttons that spilled,
picking out the ones that match
& reconstructing. No. More like wind 
coming through grass, a shudder far back 
in your back, where wings began
when we had them. Green fields 
& winged creatures? A breeze, a zephyr?

You make a motion as if to lift,
& of course you do not lift, you are not
winged, you are nothing but bone.

Bone of betrayal, bone of the swan
you went to feed every day at the pond 
the summer you were ten.
Bone of the house where the women
who came before you gathered in the attic,
black burial dresses frayed into strips
so that when they sat & spun their stories
into you, they seemed like spiders, hairy-legged.
Bone of train, creek, mountain.

You gather this & go.

Lynne Knight | The Phoenix Song
Contents | Mudlark No. 62 (2017)