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

35 Comments on “the wishbone

  1. I always love to read the way you weave the words into intricate fabrics… but the sorrow of loneliness is always close to the wordplay.

    There has to be two for a wish to come true with a wishbone… hope your travel will be great.

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  2. Fowl for one is a weeping image, and wishbone for one intensifies it. Your word play in the last stanza was masterful and touching.

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  3. Such a beautifully written piece, I love the cleft and clavicle, both split and together and your loyalty to all the wishes made. I remember the wishbones drying on the window sill for you both to pinkie pull and wish on x

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  4. Oh Laura this is so very poignant. I especially like; “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.” Wishing you safe travels! 💝💝

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  5. I admire the detailed wishbone from the fattened feasting days. But most specially the invocations for all good things (even death was merciful).

    Safe journeys and happy poeming!

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  6. Oh, Laura, This brought more than one tear to my eye.
    The depth and weaving of your words to create such a picture with the camera of your mind is ……. I cannot think of the proper word ….. beautifully touching. Thank you.

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  7. The wishbone rhyme took me back to childhood and my grandparents’ house, where I first heard it. We always pulled the wishbone. I enjoyed all the wordplay and alliteration, Laura, and felt that suckerpunch of winded, wounding loss. I love the lines:
    ‘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…’

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    • brilliant description Kim – “that suckerpunch of winded, wounding loss”. Such times as the wishbone ritual brings it all back and all the days of coping disappear for a while

      Liked by 1 person

  8. A beautiful and poignant poem Laura and I wish you a blessed time in New Zealand. The new blog you’ve created looks wonderful and I look forward to following this special journey 💜

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  9. Perhaps the one left with wishbone must pull with both opposing pinkies?! To borrow your words from Hebrew…Kol Tov, Laura.

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  10. This poem really pulled me in. But these were the lines that spoke to me most,
    “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”
    The physical experience of loss.

    Like

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