Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


Eating the Bones

The women in my family
strip the succulent
flesh from broiled chicken,
scrape the drumstick clean;
bite off the cartilage chew the gristle, 
crush the porous swellings
at the ends of each slender baton.
With strong molars
they split the tibia, sucking out
the dense marrow. 
They use up love, they swallow 
every dark grain,
so at the end there's nothing left,
a scant pile of splinters
on the empty white plate.

Credit


From The Human Line by Ellen Bass. Copyright © 2007 by Ellen Bass. Reprinted by permission of Copper Canyon Press.

Author


Ellen Bass

Ellen Bass is the author of Like a Beggar (Copper Canyon Press, 2014). She currently serves on the Board of Chancellors of the Academy of American Poets.

Date Published: 2007-01-01

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/eating-bones