My Mother’s Bones
When I crawled through my mother’s bones
I’d like to say, they were bent over me
like birches, that the tips of her pelvis-march
scraped against me in that narrow place.
But babies aren’t made this way. Beauty is messy;
the dark box I return to just before I wake
is a field with a thatched cupboard, every kind of leaf
as if she collected me among these pressed wax
paper plates. I’d seen tall, holy trees in Muir Forest
and me on my swaying stem, a Lady’s orchid,
her newest treasure, swaddled and given
up to her in a room with open windows. Crushed
yellow and scarlet autumn hands reached in
and settled on our laboring bed. Rust ripped the sheets,
they’d call me an autumn flower. Candles sputtered
and grew down, white and pure and healing.
Each relative and ghost was there. She cradles me.
She holds my soul over a flame. This life is messy,
Mother. I carry your bones in a paper sack
like a picnic lunch. When I release us
to the air we tumble like acrobats, blister
the hardened earth with our fall.
Laurie Byro‘s short stories and poetry have appeared in dozens of presses including: Loch Raven Review, The Literary Review, Triggerfish, Snakeskin, Redactions, and Chaminade Review, among others. In January 2011, Laurie was named one of the “Poets of the Decade” by the IBPC competition for her 2000-2010 work, amassing more awards than any competing poet. Her chapbook The Bird Artists was published in 2009 and Laurie was Poet Laureate of Allendale, NJ from 2009 to 2013. Her work draws on myth and fairytale and her experiences of foreign places in the years she worked as a travel agent. Laurie has been facilitating Circle of Voices, poetry discussion in NJ for over 15 years, currently at the West Milford Township Library where she is Poet in Residence.
Rhiannon Thorne‘s poetry has been published or is forthcoming in Black Warrior Review, Midwest Quarterly, and The Doctor T. J. Eckleburg Review, among others. She is the Managing Editor of cahoodaloodaling and an associate interviewer and a book reviewer atUp the Staircase Quarterly.
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