Marge Piercy




          THE BONE PIT

Sima de los huesos: where archeologists

dig ancestral remains, hundreds of thousands

of years old but amazingly preserved.


We all have our bone pits, at least I do.

Why so many dead buried, hidden, rushed

into the ground and covered roughly?


Periods of the massacre of friendships,

years of fanaticism burning affection

like fire in dry grass.  Disasters,


illnesses too boring for others

to endure.  Marriage, divorce

cleave the social matrix in two,


as a highway cuts into a hill

and makes a whole two bookends.

Pits where we bury old faiths,


ideologies we would have, maybe

did kill for when we were twice

or only half of what we are.


Skulls, delicate bones of the wrists

femurs, jutting hips, the tiny dice

of the toes, jumbled there in a mound


singing as they are unearthed to the sun,

we lived, we danced, we ate, and you

went on and left us, you went on.

Copyright 2003 Marge Piercy.  All Rights Reserved.

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