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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Eating the Bones

Eating The Bones
by Ellen Bass

The women in my family
strip the succulent
flesh from broiled chicken,
scrape the drumstick clean;
bite off the cartilage chew the gristle,
crush the porous swelling
at the ends of each slender baton.
With strong molars
they split the tibia, sucking out
the dense marrow.
They use up love, they swallow
every dark grain,
so at the end there's nothing left,
a scant pile of splinters
on the empty white plate.


Kathleen said...


Martha Silano said...

Isn't it? I was so pleased to find this poem when I searched for food poems at Ellen Bass is such a fine poet--her images are always so clear and aptly described, plus her words carry such passionate emotions. Love. Her.

Jan Priddy, Oregon said...

Ellen Bass always takes my breath.

Martha Silano said...

I know, Jan--me, too!

Kellan grey said...

Can someone explain the poem to me please