(For Tom Lord)
I live in a house of bones.
Past generations inhabit the floors below.
My father’s scapula,
The femur of my grandfather,
Countless ancestral skeletons
Lie beneath me.
Even my brother’s skull is there.
They all support me
Here on the top floor.
Because of them I can watch
The sun set on the horizon.
But they are a terrible weight to carry.
I cannot do it alone.
The temptation is to put them all in glass boxes
On display for all to see
But none to touch.
Safe but dead.
I need your help
To make those bones rattle and dance
So that hyena stalk through our wild flower meadows
Lions bask in our midsummer sun
Cave bears suckle their young in our hills
Wolves lope across our limestone pavements
And lynx carry our message to the Gods:
“We have not forgotten you.
We are sorry.
This has just been a terrible mistake.
We are here now.
We have remembered.
Together we will put things right.
Together we will learn to live well in this house of bones.”