Beautiful Old Bones


When my father was dying,
the skin around his eye turned purple
just from the slight pressure of it leaning on the hospital pillow.

I wondered at it
and thought of the purple shell
its broken edges worn smooth by the sea
I had found at the ocean that winter.

Yesterday
my mother called and told me her feet were turning colors.
Red, purple, blue, black, and red again.

I saw an octopus dreaming.

Then felt  the horror
of what all those colors might mean
for my mother’s 92-year-old feet.

This morning as I put hay in the feeder
the mountains were a haze of pink.

They turn colors too.

Yesterday
instead of a flat outline
the snow and bare trees made the mountains three-dimensional.

I could finally see the waves of hills that they really are.

Laid bare by the cold
and lit by the morning sun
I could see their beautiful old bones.

6 thoughts on “Beautiful Old Bones

  1. Maria, this is stunning. It feels as if you are figuring out how to piece together in words disparate meaningful experiences to create a beautiful whole so that we see the beauty as well—just as you mix pattern and color in your quilts. Are you reading anything that is inspiring you in your word craft? I’m going to back and reread that poem.

    1. That’s a nice way of putting it Donna. It was about me finding the common thing in all three experiences. And yes, finding beauty in situations where it might not be so evident and sharing that.
      The words just came to me, then I saw they were a poem. Mary Oliver is the poet I read most often.

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