by Deborah Bogen

Sorrow-hewed, this box was built to house my sister’s boney limbs–the bones of the box meant to shelter hers, but by and by even boxes decay, so the body that housed her once-hot heart will lay exposed. Returned to clay.

The priest spoke words. A cold rain fell. All over the cemetery other families came. Bringing their children. In their boxes. I listened to the wind, and to the mourners, all those mothers bringing children. They were so busy praising heaven, those mothers. They sang and sang–so I sang too.

“Cemetery” appears in Deborah Bogen’s forthcoming book from Jacar Press, Speak Now This Charm (December 2022), a book of box poems that takes its title from the Anglo Saxon Corpus to address the traumas we face in 2022.

Deborah Bogen lives in Pittsburgh, PA, where she balances poetry with the political responsibility of a citizen. Her previous prize-winning collections are Landscape with Silos (Texas Review Press), Let Me Open You a Swan (Elixir Press), and In Case of Sudden Free Fall (Jacar Press). Copies of Speak Now This Charm may be reserved by emailing jacarpress@gmail.com, and she can be contacted for bookings at dbbogen@aol.com.

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