L’ottie stared down at dem bones, his bones. Woolen shreds of navy and light blue stuck
to one, glued with blood, dried. By the pile, a brass button, tarnished. The rest of him
missing, gone. L’ottie got as close as they would let her near dem bones, his bones. Held
at her elbow by a son, theirs. Her tears would not fall, clung. Just enough on her lashes to
weight them down, heavy. L’ottie put her hand in an apron pocket, deep. She pulled out a
square of cotton, yellowed, and headed up the path, dirt. To the cookhouse, supper.
Straight to the pot of soup, ham bone.
Rachelle M. Parker is a Callaloo Fellow. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Peregrine, Creations Magazine, Mused – the BellaOnline Literary Review, The Path Magazine and Elohi Gadugi Journal. Her work has been featured in Poeming Pigeons’ anthology. Dr. Sue Walker named Rachelle the first-prize winner of the Pat Schneider Poetry Contest 2014. She is a Nassawadox-born, Brooklyn-bred girl.