Ritualwell

Tradition & Innovation

Daughter of Your Bones

woman in white lace dress walking barefoot on beach, head not shown
Your hips are girded with titanium
lustrous screws threaded femur to acetabulum
 
Mine at seventy still shimmy, wiggle, bop 
I teach dance on Zoom—I love to jump!
 
Yet underneath my booty-shaking sass
lurk your hipbones—friable, precarious
 
One gave way when you were eighty
you bounced back, a poster girl for therapy
 
But the second hip—you were so frail
a sneeze knocked you over and snap
 
Our mother line, small shtetl Jewesses
needed no Thera-bands, no leg presses
 
They lugged goods to market, hauled water from the well
their feet bunioned and bones like steel
 
Sitting at your bedside as hospice workers come and go
I imagine a field where they gather: those 
grandmothers who gave us their birdlike frames
they wait for you, who lived beyond their dreams
 
I see you run to them, your legs whole again
a warble comes from their throats—you know this song
you join hands, dance, take wing.

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