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Bones

By Susan Dworski Nusbaum

Along a jeep path in Botswana,

I followed a trail of white dust,

glowing like a stream in moonlight.

It traced the stealth of hyenas,

who consume every part of their prey,

antelope bones turning to powder inside their bodies,

leaving chalk signatures along the way,

living proof the dead once prowled that place.

I think about your bones, my beloveds,

buried in funeral pots and vaulted casks,

silver slivers left behind, scooped up with ashes,

fragments extruded from crumbling coffins

polished by the earth’s relentless pressure.

How steadily these relics rise

from their damp beds toward the light,

your names inscribed in glitter,

scrawled across the mirrored night.

SUSAN DWORSKI NUSBAUM will read from and sign copies of her debut full-length collection of poems “What We Take With Us” (Coffeetown Press) at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Talking Leaves Books, 3158 Main Street in Buffalo. Born in Rochester, and a graduate of Smith College and the University at Buffalo Law School, she lives in Buffalo, where she has worked as a teacher, arts administrator, and criminal prosecutor. A frequent participant in the Chautauqua Institution Writers’ Festival and Chautauqua Writers’ Center poetry workshops, her poems have won prizes in several competitions, and have been published in The Connecticut Review, Nimrod International Journal, Chautauqua Literary Journal, Wisconsin Review, Earth’s Daughters magazine, and Harpur Palate.