I bear no burden, save the one
of ordinariness that rides my back,
a scrawny crone, her weight
no more than a bundle of dry sticks.
She fills my ear with her raspy complaints.
You never buy me a new dress.
I saw that one with buttons of real bones.
They looked like your teeth,
so white and even.
Take me to the fair.
I want something sweet.
Let’s go to sleep.
When did she climb to her easy perch,
wrap her limbs like rusty wire
around my chest? I must have stopped
along my brilliant arc, rested
too long. Everywhere her sisters crawl
and clack their bones against the spines
of all of us once so bright and true.