A girl of wool & bone

We kern the steepness of the hill side

like mountain goats, our chins tucked tight

against Welsh cold

your mittened hands, clench mine in strength

I hadn’t known you possessed

turned from grandmother to mountain woman

determined in stride

you cut your way deftly, through high grass

bleached by wind and bones scattered

mournful like lost jewels, pressed to earth

when you were young, a great beauty, they claimed

few knew the intelligence, simmering behind

your sensible, corduroy smile

sometimes, it’s not easy being a head-turner

people lean in, too close, with fettered breath

wishing to pluck, your moment

and soon, you had a swollen stomach and those

ideas of being an artist

shot out of the window, like a blue jay

lured by shining glass

once, you told me

I always wanted a girl and ended up

with two redhaired boys

who left stains on my good china and

caused my back to ache

I wanted a girl, to bring up as my very untried wish

a kite, would roam in thin air, when the day was sheltered by mauve clouds

into dells and valleys, in search of blueberries or other

vaunted treats

a girl like me

strong, beneath the fragility

of fitting in and sticking out

a girl of wool and bone

sucking the marrow out of day

shuing in darkness as,

a priest may clear his church, of roosting birds

we tramp, sticks in hand, knees sore

into the cold, into the sucking void

she tells me stories of before

tales carried within her like leather pages

they take on faces and skip

alongside us, as the lone wolf

watches from o-er the crest

ever patient in low stalk

she is old and she is young

her shoulders stooped, her breasts withered

with eyes that glitter in fading light

brighter than any childs

they didn’t get to see her like this

her raw boned sons, eating around the edges

watching her in the role of mother

losing distinction, by cursory dismissal

and I wonder

as we stop to prise mushrooms

gathering thickly at base of dying trees

as she wipes away an errant whisp of hair

and turns back, pink cheeked and thrilled

if anyone had seen her heart

here on the mountain

exposed to elements

as fresh as the air, we pull deeply through our lungs

and holding hands, descending sharply

back to the world of man


19 thoughts on “A girl of wool & bone

  1. Priceless words intertwined with wishes floating on the clouds and having to descend into a man’s world which goes against my wish for oneness where everyone is equal

  2. OH MY GOD! Like really! Holy blankety blank blank. See, I did not curse on your blog. But that was just beyond compare. How do you do this? You know…I don’t even know your name. How can I feel such admiration and love and deep rooted connection to a girl with no name! Yet I do. Because you’re awesome.

  3. There is an intriguing relationship in this poem. I especially like the elder’s wish for,
    “a girl of wool and bone, sucking the marrow out of day.” A wish to share her zest for life and pass it on to another woman?

  4. I love this, the words flow flawlessly, the atmosphere of the poem threw me back to similar times with my grandparents, and there is a hint of regret in it, or no, not regret… tainted lives.

  5. This made me cry Candice. Finally WordPress let me read your marvelous pieces. Thank you, thank you for blessing us with your words. By the way, I email you. Hope you are feeling better. Hugs and best wishes

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