day of atonement

by Kristina Woodhill

this, the wednesday trash day
after the normal trash pick-up day
following the labor day holiday

surely this is our day of atonement
our ash wednesday
and we shall celebrate its arrival

come, i'll set up lawn chairs
beside the waiting garbage bins

we shall sit side by side, you and I,
we shall have our confessional

dogs will come as we throw
our used bled-out lies to the ground

meat of our minds, intricate morsels
memories, muscled and kneaded

their teeth gnash easily my ineptitudes
burying your hard bones with mine

cats will mew and lick from our hands
the slick oils of unclean lusting glances

slid inside growling throats, absorbed
fur shining, glowing fresh and thick

too well nourished, as we shrink off
unkind deeds and unkept promises,

these four-legged priests hungrily devour
each offered admittance, generous

in leaving details and tallying to beaked
ratta-tat-tatting along our clean-picked bones

well done! let us rise up, friend,
strap these chairs to bony backs

and leave this booth to heirs of such
as vardis fisher, a sifter of antiquities

a time trinket tale teller; stylus and blotter
can sort the remaining teeth

heel to toe, my friend, heel to toe


Posted on 09/09/2009
Copyright © 2019 Kristina Woodhill

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Gregory O'Neill on 09/09/09 at 06:41 PM

All I can say is. cool, cool, cool! What a great idea this was, and I like that you didn't let the opportunity pass by, I mean time, some's or in this case, something's schedule provided the seed. Shows a poet aware and watching for the "trigger". I will read this often, for it is often my own personal trash needs to be picked up and dumped, I'm promising myself. Thanks for a wonderful poem. This is one for the bulletin board.

Posted by Sandy M. Humphrey on 09/09/09 at 07:37 PM

Wow, can I bring my chair for I am going through some office trash now but my own personal trash would be much more interesting and letting four legged creatures pick it clean well now we are talking....wow....smh

Posted by Alison McKenzie on 09/09/09 at 10:06 PM

This is chock full of amazing-ness and stark, hard-cold-truth imagery, gives this piece an edge that is definitely called for.

Posted by Elizabeth Jill on 09/09/09 at 11:19 PM

This has bite and shiny teeth! I whittle through it ~ I join the odd glee in the approaching monstriere with its hoise and noise celebrating arrival of the ashes pick-up. Your book is the one I keep on my lap; dog-eared and fingers griplockingz: they will never pry you from my skinny bones.

heel to toe, my friend, heel to toe

~sifter~ ;)

Posted by Glenn Currier on 09/10/09 at 03:33 PM

"meat of our minds, intricate morsels / memories, muscled and kneaded" Ah! the words, the sounds, the feel of them - evocative and, like good poetry, invite us lure us inside to retake and remake memories and create new meanings. You create from the ordinary something extra-ordinary.

Posted by Jim Benz on 09/10/09 at 05:00 PM

This is a genuinely WONDERFUL poem Kristina. It's been awhile since a POTD has really blown my socks off. Nice job.

Posted by Gregory O'Neill on 09/10/09 at 06:28 PM

Congrats! I wish I could say I have the natural strength to honor this poem without envy...but I'm so very weak!! I'll always treasure this poem!

Posted by Laura Doom on 09/11/09 at 11:54 PM

I guess 'formidable' is the term I'm reaching for...blows the dust from complacency :>)

Posted by Christina Bruno on 09/14/09 at 02:23 AM

extremely creative!! wow!@

Posted by Dave Fitzgerald on 09/14/09 at 04:14 AM

In my British eyes this is a wonderful piece of Americana. Like 'Stand by me' for the soul. Nice write.

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