The bones speak

She always wore long sleeves 

On the hottest of days.

Nothing to see here, she always said
Don’t worry. I’m fine.

Soundproof sleeves

woven by her mother

with threads of silence

no whisper leaked through

The X-rays tell a different tale:

Of old fractures, of injuries
Hidden beneath layers of flesh and fear.

The loom

an heirloom

it made no sound

only the wood was dented

Stripped of skin, defleshed to mere skeleton

Her life lays bare on a cold slab
Exposed like dead-white maggots
Fat, wriggling, reluctantly pulled out
From hollow eye sockets full of hell.

The warp thread tension

was nonadjustable

the weft thread

often broke

A chip here. A groove there.

Violence records itself in bone.
We can be read by those
Who decipher death
Who study the language of cruelty.
We do not give up our secrets easily.


a chip here

a groove there

random pattern

clink, clatter

clack, clank


Nothing to see here, she always said
We know
We know
The bones always know.

Rattle, click

hem stitch

Yay, a collaboration between Shuku and me, based on her poem for day 17. It’s off prompt for today, but it has influences of a number of the other prompts. It’s a very busy day today, so I can’t look up which ones.


7 thoughts on “The bones speak

  1. Dawn D

    A punch in the gut, really. I have been researching legal help for victims of familial abuse. I don’t know if I should, or shouldn’t, whether it would speed things up in my divorce, or make things worse with my older kids… So, to read this… it hit me even worse! (which is a good thing! Poetry is supposed to make you feel, react!)


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