It was first dark when the plow turned it up. 
Unsown, it came fleshless, mud-ruddled, nothing 
but itself, the tendon's bored eye threading
a ponderous needle. And yet the pocked fist 
of one end dared what was undone 
in the strewing, defied the mouth of the hound 
that dropped it.
            The whippoorwill began 
again its dusk-borne mourning. I had never 
seen what urgent wing disembodied 
the voice, would fail to recognize its broken 
shell or shadow or its feathers strewn 
before me. As if afraid of forgetting, 
it repeated itself, mindlessly certain.
I threw the bone toward that incessant claiming,
and watched it turned by rote, end over end over end.

From Pinion: An Elegy by Claudia Emerson. Copyright © 2002 by Claudia Emerson. Reproduced with the permission of Louisiana State University Press. All rights reserved.