a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society
pelvis buried in our terraced garden.
It was aged, smooth, smaller
than I thought it should have been.
For a few months, I balanced it
inside on our mantle, then took it back
outside and reburied it.
And I found a severed deer’s leg,
still hooved and pelted, in a bank of plowed snow.
Whether by hunter or car, I realized
death remains repugnant
until relics seem ancient, the living creature
Then my daughter, excavating
a rotted stump, discovered a woodchuck’s ribs,
vertebra, femur, skull.
She assembled the skeleton
on a wooden green table. I saw
the animal’s form laid out before me
like a catechism. I saw her careful fingers
slide radius beside ulna,
center the sternum, balance the lowest vertebrae
within the pelvis, the creature’s wholeness,
our memory of her young
parading through clover,
all of it restored.
Lynn Domina is the author of two collections of poetry, Corporal Works and Framed in Silence, and the editor of a collection of essays, Poets on the Psalms. Her recent work appears or is forthcoming in the Los Angeles Review, The Gettysburg Review, New England Review, and many other periodicals and anthologies. She currently serves as Head of the English Department at Northern Michigan University and as Creative Writing Editor of The Other Journal. She lives in Marquette, Michigan, along the beautiful shores of Lake Superior.