February in the Forest of Bones

I turn the heating up full whack
and take my vitamin D.
I wear jumpers knitted with wool
and love.
I think I’m safe,
think I’ve made it through.

But —
You come.

You put the sun in a cage.
You fill the sky with elevator music.
You strip skin from bone.
You blow ice into eye-holes.
You use my lashes to dust your house.
You make a jacket from my fallen hair.
You chew my liver, slowly, slowly.
You play my heart
’til every last, sad note is out.

When Spring comes,
I’m sure I’m dead.

But —
each bone reaches for the sun

and the sun reaches back,
like a father, home from the long journey.
And the budding of magnolia is a miracle —
that pink, that white —
like glorious bowls filled with promise.

I turn towards the newness of the year,
towards this second chance.
I want to forget.

But —
I met you in the forest of bones, I did.

There, on the floor beneath the world,
you showed me the face
beneath the photographic paper of my skin.
There, beneath the cover of ice,
you showed me my own dark earth.

* * *

Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt: In his poem “The Wasteland,” T.S. Eliot famously declared that “April is the cruelest month.” But is it? I’d have thought February. Today I challenge you to write a poem in which you explore what you think is the cruelest month, and why. Perhaps it’s September, because kids have to go back to school. Or January, because the holidays are over and now you’re up to your neck in snow. Or maybe it’s a month most people wouldn’t think of (like April), but which you think of because of something that’s happened in your life. Happy (or, if not happy, not-too-cruel) writing!

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