The Bone Cupboard

Old bones

Ever-covered in newly spun webs

sit within the rusting, grey shelves

of an old postal station

in a corner of the courtyard.

Below each cupboard

traces of organized, synchronized routes

still show

where news of kin and other stuff

was carried to folks now dust to dust.

Sun-bleached bones

of brilliant white,

smooth to the touch,

feathery light,

mark passages of the All But Forgotten

among those to fall

and follow.

Aged antlers of young stag,

shed in endless play

on the windy hillside of pine and scrub,

now rest within.

Pronged and proud

and pleasant to hold.

As is the pronghorn’s horn,

still warm,

when I picked it from a field

of slow-greening grasslands

where the dogs and I roam.

Unlike the skin on the skull

of an old coyote

found curled and alone,

having died on its own,

beside a wash not far from home.

Quietly undetected

and un-ravaged,

by its rather savage setting

… until I came along.

Too big for its shelves,

the spine of an elk

sits on top

with a trove of skulls and bones

needing time to succumb

to the days and the sun.

To the wind and the grit

and the unrelenting clock,

turning sinew and muscles and hide

to naught.

So all that’s left

are skulls and teeth,

ribs and hooves,

a monstrous skeleton

and nature’s great good.

Of lives being lived.

And friends being lost.

Of all of us food

and bones to be tossed

inside the rusty, fading shelves

of the cupboard in a corner of the courtyard.

Author: Anne Celano Frohna

I have been writing for as long as I could hold a pencil in hand and would not feel complete without it. And I actually made a meager living at it (and as an editor) for 25 years. I worked for newspapers and magazines, in graphic arts and advertising, and wrote several local history books. But I have also taught English in Japan, been a Nanny in Italy, worked in and for museums, was an Airbnb Superhost for four years, as well as an Etsy shop owner where I sold vintage items I found over the years of thrift and yard sales. After moving to Arizona with my family in 2010, I completed a series of different writing projects, including two books of creative non-fiction: Just West of the Midwest: a comedy (Based on journals I kept during my two years as an English teacher in rural Japan.) Within Close Range: short stories of an American Childhood (Short stories and poems about growing up as the middle of five children in suburban Chicago.) I've also written children's stories and continue to write short fiction, but have recently found my voice in poetry. This blog, however, is where my greatest passion comes alive. I am also a mother of two wonderful girls, Eva (23) and Sophia (21) and wife to one wonderful husband, Kurt.

4 thoughts on “The Bone Cupboard”

  1. So happy to see your most recent addition to your wonderful posts. Spent lots of time with your paw to back in the eighties, including Scotland and England, have some
    Pictures you would enjoy, if I can find them amongst my Clutter! Do enjoy your postings so much, especially having lived in LF in the olden days. Keep in touch!

    1. It’s lovely hearing from you, Janet, and thank you for reading my work. I don’t know if in our past correspondence I’ve told you, but my mother has been living with us for almost 2 years and your name and adventures in golfing is mentioned often. I hope this correspondence finds you and yours happy and healthy and wishing you a wonderful new year.

  2. A lovely read; I’m glad to see I’ve not been dumped from your list. I’ve enjoyed your boneyard having been a guest at your place and I’m still enjoying a nice pile of clay beads you gifted me. Peace and winter happiness.

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