Lori Heninger

Winter Bones

Today I gathered winter bones,
  knuckles, knees, bits of brittle skin:
sloughed limbs and trunks
  oaks, maples, hickories, birch;
stacked the cart, dumped it all 
  beyond the boundary of the yard, 
fall of responsibility, never dawned on me
I would, in spring, aggregate remains, tend 
the place I saw as clearing, but no:
  growing space dying space. 

Tending the bones.

In parts of the world whole bodies 
are buried, left to rot then, after mice 
chisel their alphabet on a humerus, 
carry away a finger joint, the rest are removed,
slid through a slot they slide then fall,
fall to crack on calcium honeycomb below,
the hollow ribs of others
unknown; skulls share stories; what else
do they have, there, in darkness,
arest, await 
news of the new,
tsk change, remember
how important the familiar becomes, 
recollect movement, then
describe the steps
of an intricate dance. 

Lori Heninger is a writer, poet and nonprofit executive. Her over-30 years of experience in US- and internationally-based work has shaped her thinking and writing. She is the author of “Managing As Mission: Nonprofit Managing for Sustainable Change”, and a book of poetry for children titled “Outside/Inside/Outside”. Lori has written for many academic publications as well as having had letters published in The New York Times. Lori graduated from Columbia University with a Masters in Social Work and from City University with a PhD in Social Welfare.