Susan Cossette: “The Bones Know”

The Bones Know

Mama orders beef shank for soup.
I shuffle small feet on the butcher’s sawdust floor,
wishing for that elusive marbled steak.

Gramma Erzebet and I chop carrots and celery
then quarter the parsnips and turnips.

Dolgozz tovább, Zsuzsu.
Keep working, Suzie.

We watch the flesh bubble from the bones
in her cast iron pot and know
we will have supper for days.

Later, the cats lick slick grey bones
tossed on the yellow and green linoleum.

Come May, Mama and I plant pink impatiens by the porch.
Knees pressed into the newly warm earth,
we discover discarded bones of slain birds and mice.

My bones remember every place I go.
Each taste, touch, smell, sight, and sound,
every memory buried in spongy marrow.

About the Author: Susan Cossette lives and writes in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Author of Peggy Sue Messed Up, she is a recipient of the University of Connecticut’s Wallace Stevens Poetry Prize. A two-time Pushcart Prize nominee, her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Rust and Moth, The New York Quarterly, ONE ART, As it Ought to Be, Anti-Heroin Chic, The Amethyst Review, Crow & Cross Keys, Loch Raven Review, and in the anthologies Fast Fallen Women (Woodhall Press) and Tuesdays at Curley’s (Yuganta Press).

Image Credit: François Bonvin “Still Life” (1858) Public domain image courtesy of Artvee

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