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Poem a Day for 5 Days – Day One

I’ve been tagged by my friend, poet Brianna Pike, to post a poem of mine (published, early draft, loved or hated) each day for five days and each day, I’m to tag another poet to join the challenge.

For Day One I want to share a poem titled “Boneyard.” This poem was written after a miscarriage. I was playing dominoes with my two children and noticed two things related to loss: 1) The draw pile for dominoes is called the bone yard, which calls cemeteries and death to mind, and 2) It felt like my life was just a game that someone was playing, and I had no control over the moves. I wanted to explore those ideas in a poem.

Another thing I tried to do with this poem was to play with words and language a bit. I considered various words that I could apply to loss and love.

Though the poem has a bit of a morbid feel, the process of writing it was cathartic and helped me release some of my sadness. I deliberately tried to simply echo my feelings and thoughts about loss and love rather than tie up a sad event in a pretty, happy bow. “Boneyard” was published in January by Alliterati Magazine.

 

Boneyard

If you find at your turn that none of the ends of your dominoes match, you must draw one domino from the boneyard. – Mexican train rulebook

There is always a loss.

Overturned tiles
Smooth white sides beckoning
Click-clack of them touching
Each other, touching –

Which may not have existed for us, or if so,
I couldn’t feel it
I could only know,
Know mentally, that you were with me

My Thai friend showed me a picture of her mother’s ashes and bones.

Her son dug in the ashes with a shovel, throwing his grandmother around
Like sand in the box. I might have cringed, if I didn’t know it as truth already.

Loss is something we dig through
A weight that covers us
Buries us in misery, mystery, history,

An etymology that prefixes and suffixes
What we call love

Precipitates and suffocates, paraphrases and sacrifices, piecemeals and scraps

My turn comes
And goes, I choose
Dots unmatching

There are four polka-dotted trains, only one mine, and that
Opened by a penny, which means anyone can play on it.

I walk through the boneyard, fingering the stones, searching
For the ashes I scattered.

 

 

P.S. This poem is part of my forthcoming chapbook. Look for more news about the chapbook soon!

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