A poem that’s been waiting…

I don’t know anything about Ann Malaspina. Her poem has been sitting in the idiom’s inbox for sometime and I finally got around to using it so here it is:

Horse Bones

water floods the basement,
lapping against washer,
sink and wall.

you have planted
a pump, installed pipes,
dug a drain.

still, the water deepens.
our fingers in the dike
make no difference.

under cracked concrete
the town’s horses are buried
in the clay earth.

as water fills our boots
i hear the horse bones shift,
ready to rise up.

This poem is so creepy and I don’t know why…I know the horse bones are coming from the title and it’s not like they actually appear just shift in the water but the anticipation makes the creepiness for me…Most of us have encountered a flooded basement and if bones began to float in that dirty water I would move out immediately….some of the unique but simple words are used to describe the situation which add to the voice and story and help create that effect like: “lapping, dug a drain, deepens, cracked, shift, rise up” I don’t know, those words or phrases stick out for me making this poem from average to great…


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