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