Growing Bones

Published in Poetry Potion 2012.04 (5th Anniversary Edition)

Growing Bones

First soft and unknit
to mould through mothers
to begin this work
of hardening frame
growing upwards
to fall free when six
from the top of the world, fracturing fear
and breaking in three places
casting a school-term in plaster
scribbled on in fruit-scented markers.

Bones, I drink to your strength.
The milk, always, in tall glasses
good for glugging in one go
and skillful lickings
of wet-white mustaches after.

Under stretched-out bras and holy panties,
I scribble bones into perfumed diaries
that close with a heart-shaped lock
pickable with a paper clip.
Bones, you make good backs
built to bend
under the weight of adolescence
and spring up
when
the world becomes
ready
for a woman.

Published by

saaleha

I am a writer and photographer (look up my work on www.shootcake.com) based in Johannesburg, South Africa. I have an MA in Creative Writing from the university currently known as Rhodes. My writing accolades include winning the 2014 Writivism Short Story Prize and the 2020 Ingrid Jonker Poetry Prize for my debut collection, Zikr.

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