301 Moved Permanently

301 Moved Permanently


My father, sucking bones

From What Became My Grieving Ceremony. Published by Thistledown Press in 2014. Cara-Lyn Morgan is a Metis artist and writer whose work has appeared in a variety of national literary magazines. She was born in Regina and now lives near Toronto.


Sucking marrow from his chicken bones, spitting
the splinters on the rim of a white china plate, he cracks
the knuckles of his index fingers, first one
then the other, belches quietly into his fist, eyes closed on
another place       a different table       a two-room house                                                                                                                                                                           its rusted roof


the palm in neighbour’s yard, a splinter in the meat of his heel
from shimmying its ragged trunk. Leotha, his mother, digs
it out with her eyebrow tweezers, blows soft
on the wound, her ribs hidden in layers of mother-fat
church dress, apron. Roughs the sand from his skin
with her hand, cuffs hard his small ear, settle
boy, settle
. Shows the sliver, shaming his tears
with the click of her tongue. Her children all left home


young, four girls, three boys, my father. Strayed

fast from Trinidad       to Harlem       Boston       Rosthern,

Saskatchewan       abandoned


the taste of fried doubles    buljoul    dasheen
turmeric    green iguana    and how Leotha delighted
in shark-and-bake on Sundays. And she, poor
and afraid to fly, stayed in the red-roofed house, a whelp
of aging bones    a voice
on a long, long-distance line. My father


breaking a thigh bone in his teeth
rubs his tongue down the cracked leg bone
and licks it whistle-clean.

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