Apr 10, 2019

Night of River Bones

The Twila Series


“I heard those spirits again the night the river gave up its bones.”
   Bone River by Megan Chance

The moon won’t come near the river
when the Wailers rattle their spines
against the cattails.
Spring has been summoning bones since
the butterweed tore a hole in winter’s lung.

I’m pink skinned and blood breathing,
and as tempted by darkness as a moth
clinging to a porch light bulb.
I’m more afraid of Tommy Landry
drunk roaming than sitting with skulls.

It isn’t the first time I’ve danced with the dead.
I was born in the bleached cradle of a doe’s ribs
because mama heard the lullaby of corpses
as soon as she felt my first thump in her belly.

I don’t know what I’m supposed to know yet.
Patience didn’t leave a seed in me….
It’s hard to translate when a voice doesn’t
have a tongue…But then there’s tongues
that are only campgrounds for blabbering.

©Susie Clevenger 2019

#NaPoWriMo2019





12 comments:

  1. Dark and enticing. I like this muchly.

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  2. This is truly wonderful!
    Patience certainly didn't leave a seed in me.

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  3. I like this, Susie. Good job! I hadn't known of neither the book nor the author. My lines are "... was born in the bleached cradle of a doe’s ribs because ..." as various high school put down jokes related to how a person was bred and birthed. Near bullying but that term wasn't in usage back then. Since these were rather vulgar I won't be more specific here.
    ..

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  4. Ooh! Such rich and dark imagery with a story-line which is equal parts mystifying and interesting, both make for a wonderful read. I love the idea of butterweed tearing "a hole in winter's lung" and that "lullaby of corpses".

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  5. My goodness this is deliciously dark and brooding!❤️ Especially like; " I’m pink skinned and blood breathing, and as tempted by darkness as a moth clinging to a porch light bulb." Woww!❤️

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  6. 'tongues / that are only campgrounds for blabbering' - oh, how I love that! Indeed, love it all – deliciously spooky and mysterious, yet one immediately feels kinship with the narrator. The quote you landed on is wonderful too, in all sorts of ways. And then you did so much with it!

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  7. This is very eerie - you describe the scene so well, I felt like i was there.

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  8. I was about to quote the same bits Rosemary quoted, so I shall just say, "Woman! I love when your take life by short and long hairs and twisted deliciously darkly into living poetry." I will also said that I'm sure our muses were dancing their bright into dark when the patience seeds were handed out.

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  9. Darkness dances all through this, Susie. Brilliant poem.

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  10. You chose a wonderful quote, Susie, and I love the lines:
    ‘Spring has been summoning bones since
    the butterweed tore a hole in winter’s lung.’

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