Jan 142011

by Frances Pettey Davis

in memory of Skye

The car is left beside

a forest road; he hikes

into the shaded green, finds

a place to lie in sun-stroked

grass. A thousand slivered

rays of light, the universe

unkindling in his eyes,

he dies.

Spends his first black night,

first turn of a planet

no longer known.

The cell phone left

behind, unheard; his body

in communion now

with animals and plants.

He marks the seasons

in the woods: winter,

curled fingers commingled

with the withered grass;

rain and spring, weeds

and flowers in love

with the gift of him.

Summer; summers.

Bleaching heat, his shell

peeled to bone, the chain

he wore around his neck

spilled to spine. He lies.

His eyes—no eyes—

fixed on sky.

Never lost, longed for by

by those who waited,

steps retraced, questions

and receipts, hope

and hope beyond.

Found, another season,

by a hiker off the trail,

(so full of peace, he said)

gathered from his glade,

scooped from anchored earth.

The ones who missed

him, who’d loved the sky

repeated in his eyes, his music

and sweet ways, go there, sit

where he lay, speak to him

as if he still listened,

and plant a tree in his sun.

  14 Responses to “Bones They Lie”

  1. Hello,
    I am Skye’s mother and Fran’s friend. Fran’s poem reads as though Skye helped her write it, as though she were with us there in the forest in the little clearing where he was found. The beauty of the poem is its truth. In spite of grief and longing I feel so lucky to be Skye’s mother……… and Fran’s friend. And I’m glad this poem is out in the world. It honors Skye and we, his family, and speaks well of the poet, Congratulations, Fran. Love,

  2. Fran, what a lovely, bittersweet poem…. the circle of life… his death giving life….. reading the poem made me feel very peaceful,,, I have always loved your writing… this is the first poem of yours I’ve read.
    Thank you. Inge

  3. this is the sweetest, penetrating poem. thank you for sharing it.

  4. Oh thank you Fran, this is a pleasure, and inspiration!

  5. While I have read this poem several times, this time it seemed to enter through more and larger doors leaving me breathless with the paradox of acceptance and pain, and how nature works
    to join them. Frannie, you have the voice of a poet and the eyes of Nature herself. Love, Katie

  6. Very powerful, Frannie.

  7. Very powerful, Frannie

  8. Just finished a 10 day silent retreat And found this in my email. It touches my heart. Much gratitude for the beauty.

  9. What an enduring tribute….to be visited at times of simple remembrance or reflection. It is sensitively prepared, as if to be absorbed as we do the seasons of life. A fine poem and special gift.

  10. A most beautiful and powerful piece. Makes me glad to be alive.

  11. This poem speaks to the core of my being. I miss dear Skye and think of him often. Yesterday “would have been” was his 36th birthday.

  12. This poem made me cry. What a poignant story, and beautifully told. Wonderful writing, Fran.

  13. What a beautiful spiritual tribute. I didn’t know Skye, but through your poem, Fran, have been given the gift of his remembrance to keep in my heart.

  14. Impressive that you could put so much in the story of Skye in the seasons of his death. Like some say, keep on. I love you.