This one appeared in Staple, issued at the time from Matlock Bath. Salve, Meashams.
From these bones you could build a bird.
From one blunt end a whispered word
emerges as music. On their last
legs, these brittle sticks, they’re past
a long walk. Down a short peer narrow
end-wise, which houseled a marrow
could bear a weight, you’d see the moon.
A cakewalk, a fox-trot: a tune
keeps time where we all come. Belief
did not hollow this, nor did grief
warp out of whack the graceful line:
not sin, though tried, and it felt fine.
It was not fault, nor fear; not real
presence, the stars, nor that schlemiel
who broke her trellis, thorned by the climb.
It was a leg; it’s not. It’s time.