Wednesday, October 15, 2014

These Bones
















Photo: (c) Jamie K. Reaser


It seems that I am forever
trying to fall in love with
these bones, and the flesh
that keeps them hidden
away so that they might remain
mostly unspeakable.

This is your story too, if you are
honest about it. Being human.

***

When I was a little girl, my mother dressed
me in brightly colored bathing suits so that
I could be spotted way down the beach;
even then, I had a penchant for wandering.

I bent over sand buckets to identify shells for
delighted old ladies and gentleman, handed
sharks’ teeth to astonished little boys,
but gathered the round, white vertebrae of
ocean-going fish for myself; a wild child seeks
adornment from the sea.

All you need is some string and you
can make a necklace.

And, there have been other bones:

Turtles left to the elements at roadside,
the deer the hunters lost to forest secrets,
dogs piled high at the end of an old road in
the middle of nowhere on a day that I had dedicated
to being charmed by birdsong and birds,

and I have visited museums, many of them,
where bones stare back at you, begging you to
remember a life that you never knew, to
imagine something when it was ensouled
and might have chosen to eat you for being so
close, or it might have run. But, it wouldn’t
have stayed, not like this. Not this still, forever.

These other things are so easy to love, like this
stark day with the sycamores bearing their ribs.

***

They say that poems should have good bones.
Stories can be ligaments and tendons.

***

I wonder what our Mother feels in that moment
when we walk away from her for the very
first time,

and later when she hears us remark:

“I have been abandoned.”

How easily we abandon ourselves
to stories in which we do not belong.

***

Here, on Earth, we live such a story.
Being human.

***

I love all the old stories – the ancient ones –
in which ancestors are more than just bones,

just bones,

especially when the ancestors were not
just human like they are now,

in our way of speaking of

the world as not needing us.

***

Maybe, someone will adorn
themselves with these bones,
my bones.

It could, perhaps,
be me.



© 2014-2017/Jamie K. Reaser
From "Coming Home: Learning to Actively Love this World"
Published by Talking Waters Press 

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