Our lovely bones

I
Dear Collarbone:
No one blames you,

least of all the ball still
firmly in the socket because

you gave and then held,
a faultless fault line in

my body’s aging
architecture.

II
As a child, I quailed
to learn I have a skeleton —
that horror-movie
staple — inside me.

What to do?

We carry within us
gods and monsters,
never certain
which is which.

III
Dear Skeleton:
I think I love you.

You stood me upright,
impelled me through the
indelible decades,

knowing nothing will
do but motion, that stasis
is antithetical to life.

IV
I shudder still at
the skull’s carapace,
hollow orbits cupping

our living eyes, but feel
the care with which
you cage our wild hearts,

protect our fragile
minds. Even the
bruises that mantle

a fracture attest
the majesty of
our lovely bones,

still holding us upright,
still moving us through
a world so dangerous,

so beautiful,
that no one
stays unbroken.

 

The title of this poem was inspired by Alice Sebold’s haunting 2002 novel, a strange and beautiful read.Ā 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 comments

  1. Love this! The older I get, the more my body changes – calling to my attention its once performance and the consequences of accumulated neglect yielding current lesser performance. Twisted torso and artificial joints never entered my focus back when I could’ve been strengthening instead of ignoring the coming limits. Fantastic to read a poem about such!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So glad you liked it, Jazz! Perhaps strangely, a broken collarbone and impending shoulder surgery have heightened my appreciation for my body, which has carried me so faithfully through the decades and enabled many meaningful, powerful and liberating experiences. These vessels don’t last forever, but are no less amazing — and even more precious — because of that.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Our lovely bones indeed. Many of us move about the world without giving our bones a second thought until they break or otherwise need our attention … after all the years and years of quiet service. How are your lovely bones?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. One broken, but many intact, and all still giving their best as able. šŸ™‚ Thank you for reading, Rafiki.

      Like

  3. D'Arcy Fallon · · Reply

    “you cage our wild hearts” Oh yes and yes!!!!

    Like

    1. Happy Halloween, Bisty! I’m guessing lots of kids at your door, and much barking … šŸ™‚

      Like

  4. nice Halloween poem.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I hope you get all your favorite candy. šŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  5. A wonderful piece for this Halloween day! -Russ

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Russ! Yay, skeletons!

      Like

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