Size / / /

how do we know her?

we know her by blood:

her spoor, it's the trail

of her ancestors

feeding the raw flesh

cell by cell

carrying the air she breathes

throughout her, carrying the waste

away; it's grey—grey till you

cut her, then see how bright

how do we know her?

we know her by stone

each place she has trod

has a bit of her name, has worn

her down, has worn her

she names each place

with a memory stone

and then forgets

but the stones don't, they tell her tales

she's not there

to listen to

how do we know her?

we know her by bone:

bone found in the cathedral floor,

or better yet just outside the churchyard

where her tale can be guessed

suicide, unbaptised, or whore

a sinner for sure

when she dies she's hidden

under stone

when we think we've lost her

we find the stone

dig her up

find her bright bright blood in our veins

her marrow in our bones




Neile Graham's life is full of writing and writers. She is a graduate of Clarion West Writers Workshop and currently serves as their workshop director. Her poetry collections are Seven Robins, Spells for Clear Vision, and Blood Memory, and a spoken word CD, She Says: Poems Selected and New.
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19 Feb 2024

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