the wishbone

Wishbone, wishbone on a dish, pick it up and make a wish.
If I pull the wishbone right, I will get my wish tonight.

Another poultry Christmas, and paltry indeed
bantam weighted for one, pullet pulled
piece by piece over the fattened feasting days
crisp stripped to soupy bones and skin
nothing wasted of this small fowl sacrifice, even
the whitened wishbone

set aside to dry brittle, ready-forked
for that tug by two opposing pinkies
clavicle cleft from clavicle, the merry thought
the who-gets-the-fusion and the treasured wish
only then was I struck again, under the breast bone
winded, wounded with my loss
– the furcula, a piercing weapon, two-pronged
with only one to grasp it

So I hold to all the invocations we ever made
with bones, on starfall, or slipping singly
through kissing gates to seal a secret silent plea
with lips; always the same one, I can now reveal
wished for you Kol Tov* (all good things)
– even your death was merciful


*Kol Tov/Kol Tuv ~ hebrew ~ ‘be well’ – lit ‘all good things’


My first and last poem of 2020 until the Spring as I set off on my 6 week travels – Along the Long White Cloud – and having just enough time to join dVerse for an Open Link Night